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
  • Tuality Pulmonary and 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:

  • Portland lab: 503-494-6066
  • Hillsboro lab: 503-369-6103 (after 5 p.m.)

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 45 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 will most likely 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: If you have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, 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 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 at 6 a.m., but we can accommodate a specific time. Wires and other devices will be quickly removed. You will be offered breakfast and asked to fill out a short questionnaire.

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

Learn more

Running late?

Please call your lab:

  • Portland lab: 503-494-6066
  • Hillsboro lab: 503-359-6103 (after 5 p.m.)

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

Cancellations

Please call your lab 24 to 48 hours in advance.

  • Portland lab: 503-494-6066
  • Hillsboro lab: 503-681-4139 (before 5 p.m.) or 503-359-6103 (after 5 p.m.)

Sleep lab locations

OHSU Sleep Lab
Resident Inn By Marriott Portland
Downtown/Riverplace
2115 S.W. River Parkway, fifth floor
Portland, OR 97201

Tuality Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Lab 
Tuality 8th Avenue Medical Plaza
364 S.E. Eighth Ave., Suite 301-A
Hillsboro, OR 97123