The Sleep Disorders Center



What Happens During a Sleep Evaluation?    

You will spend one night sleeping in a private room with a comfortable bed, TV, nightlight, bathroom and shower facilities.  Some people may need to stay two non-consecutive nights, but typically, you will arrive in the evening and leave the following morning; it is usually not necessary to miss a day of work or school. A sleep study at The Sleep Disorders Center at Central Mississippi Medical Center is a comprehensive, safe and painless procedure that measures brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, pulse, blood oxygen levels, snoring, breathing and airflow, and body movements while you sleep.  Highly skilled and trained specialists monitor your data throughout the night.  The data is then reviewed by a physician and the results are provided to you and your physician in a timely manner.

Patient Information for Sleep Studies

What is a polysomnogram?  
A polysomnogram is a procedure which measures bodily functions during sleep. Each study will vary depending on the individual case and some of the measurements taken may include:  

  • Brain Waves (Electrodes placed on the scalp) 
  • Heart Beats (Electrodes placed on the chest)  
  • Eye Movements (Electrodes placed above and below the eyes)  
  • Muscle Tension ( Electrodes placed on the chin) 
  • Leg Movements (Electrodes placed on the lower leg)  
  • Airflow Breathing (Sensor placed underneath the nose)  
  • Chest and Abdominal Breathing (Sensors placed around the chest and abdomen outside of your pajamas)
  • Blood Oxygen Levels (a small sensor attached / taped to your finger)
Why record all these things?  

During sleep, the body functions are different than while awake.  Disrupted sleep can disturb daytime activities and sometimes medical problems during sleep involve a risk to basic health.

How can I sleep with all these things on me?  

Surprisingly, most people sleep reasonably well.  We are only looking to obtain a sample of your sleep.  The body sensors are applied so that you can turn and move during sleep.  None of the electrodes break the skin.  The entire procedure is painless.  Our staff will try to make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.

Will the sensor devices hurt?  

No. Sometimes, in rubbing the skin or putting on the electrodes, there are mild and / or temporary skin irritations.  You may also feel a sensation of warmth where the oxygen-measuring device contacts the skin of your finger.  However, these do not generally cause any significant discomfort.

Will I be given a drug in the sleep lab to help me sleep?


Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking certain medications before coming for the test.  It is also important not to consume any alcohol or caffeinated beverages on the day of the testing.   Technologists do not have sleeping aids available.

What should I bring?  
Checklist of items to bring to the sleep lab:        
  • Bring comfortable sleepwear, preferably not silk.  Something that is two-piece is best or something that buttons down the front.  If you do not ordinarily wear a top to sleep in you should bring one because it helps to keep the monitoring equipment in place.  A t-shirt is fine.         
  • A robe and slippers.           
  • Toiletries, such as a comb, hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste and shaving materials. Toiletries will be furnished if you forget any.         
  • Favorite pillow or blanket, if desired.           
  • Reading material but a TV is also available for your use.         
  • Clothes for the next day.           
  • Completed questionnaire, driver’s license, and insurance information.           
  • Medications.     
  • CPAP machine and mask if currently using therapy.
What happens after the polysomnogram?  
Proper interpretation of sleep studies takes a considerable amount of time.  Over the course of the evening, approximately 900 pages of data are generated for analysis.  A qualified sleep technologist will score your test data, and a designated Sleep Center physician with expertise in clinical sleep physiology will interpret the results.  The results will be forwarded to your physician two to three weeks after the study date.  

Technologists will not have test results after test is complete.  

Test Instructions

  1. Hair / Body – Wash and dry your hair prior to coming but do not apply any conditioners, sprays, oils or gels to your hair.  Also, we advise that you do not apply any lotions, oils or make-up to skin.   
  2. Food – Eat a good meal prior to (PSG), but avoid food that would cause heart burn or acid indigestion. No chocolate.   
  3. Drink – No alcohol or caffeinated beverages within 12 hours of your test because they affect test results.   
  4. Medication – (A) Bring all medications to the lab. We do not dispense medications.  (B) Please do not stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician.  (C) We prefer you to be off sleeping medications for at least 8 days prior to this sleep study. Please check with your doctor.   
  5. We will provide towels, shower and toilet facilities.   
  6. Nail polish or acrylics may affect test.  We ask that patients wearing these come to the lab with at least one nail free and clean in order to monitor accurately.   
  7. DO NOT NAP the day of your study!
MSLT Test Instructions  

The MSLT study usually follows the overnight PSG study.  This daytime study takes up to an additional 8-10 hours. Thus your stay in the sleep lab for the combined PSG and MSLT may last up to 21 hours.  You will have to bring your own supply of medication. You may request to order takeout food from the Central Mississippi Medical Center cafeteria for the daytime study.