Preparing for a Sleep Study

OHSU Neurologist, Kimberly Hutchison
Dr. Kimberly Hutchison, an OHSU neurologist, has advanced training in sleep medicine from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

An overnight sleep study helps your care team develop the best treatment plan for your sleep disorder. The study, called a polysomnogram, helps us see disruptions in your sleep patterns. The test uses sensors to monitor your:

  • Brain waves
  • Heart rate
  • Leg movements
  • Breathing

Before your study

Before arriving at our sleep lab:

  • Wash your hair thoroughly.
  • Eat a full meal.

What to bring

  • Toiletries
  • Any medications you take regularly
  • Two-piece pajamas (towels and bedding are provided)

You may also want to bring:

  • Snacks
  • Reading material
  • A movie
  • Laptop or tablet

If you need a caregiver

Family and friends are discouraged from visiting, but let your doctor know if you need a caregiver to stay with you.

Getting to the sleep lab

Your test will be at one of our sleep labs:

  • Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Riverplace in the South Waterfront District
  • OHSU Health Sleep Medicine Lab in Hillsboro

Your doctor or scheduler will provide directions and parking information. You should arrive by 8 p.m.

Please call your lab if you’re running late:

If we haven’t heard from you by 8:15 p.m., we will contact someone on our waiting list.

What to expect during a sleep study

After you arrive: You will change into your pajamas. A sleep technologist will apply electrodes and sensors to your body and attach them to a wire box, a process that takes 30 to 60 minutes. You will be able to walk and use the restroom without help.

Bedtime: The wire box will be attached to a computer to be monitored from an adjoining room. You’ll be fitted with a nasal tube and a small heart monitor to measure your breathing. You may wear a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask over your nose. If you use CPAP at home, you can bring your own mask.

Split-night study: You may be have a split-night study. You’ll get a “baseline study” followed by a CPAP “titration study” to figure out the correct airway pressure.

Sleeping: Even with the devices attached, most people are able to get a close-to-normal night’s sleep.

A polysomnogram displaying data to help make a precise diagnosis
A polysomnogram provides detailed results so your care team can give you a precise diagnosis.

After your study

In the morning: Wakeup is typically around 6 a.m. Wires and other devices will be quickly removed, and you will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire before you leave.

Results: Results are usually available within two weeks. They will be shared in your MyChart account or at your next office visit.

Learn more

For patients

Call 503-494-6066 to:

  • Request an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions

Call 503-418-1850 for a sleep study appointment in one of our sleep labs.

Learn about our expert care for children’s sleep disorders. 

Refer a patient

Locations

Clinic

Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

Hatfield Research Center
3250 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, Oregon 97239
Map and directions

Sleep labs

Marriott Hotel - Portland
2115 S. River Parkway
Portland, Oregon 97201
Map and directions

Sleep Medicine Lab - Hillsboro
3000 NW Stucki Place, suite 280
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
Map and directions