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Sleep Study


What Is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study monitors your brain waves, breathing, heart rate and body movements while you sleep. It is performed in our sleep lab by a trained Sleep Technologist. The results of your sleep study will enable your doctor to correctly assess your sleep concerns.

On the day of the study, you will usually be asked to arrive at the sleep lab in the evening. The Technologist will attach sensors to your head, chin, chest, and legs. The technologist will monitor the activity transmitted by the sensors throughout the night. They may ask you to change positions in order to collect the most accurate data. This is a vital part of the process.

Your doctor may have ordered a “split-night study” if you are at a risk for obstructive sleep apnea. If you show signs of sleep apnea during the first half of the study, then the Technologist may apply Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy during the second half of the night. CPAP provides air pressure through a mask that opens the upper airway during sleep. Sometimes it may be hard to obtain a clear representation of your sleep disorders during the first part of the study and a second study is needed to complete the process. Despite our best efforts to make you as comfortable as possible, the autonomic nervous system is in control while you are sleeping.

What Is a Sleep Study?

Total sleep time

This is how we determine the QUANTITY of sleep. The electrodes attached to you record your brain waves which helps us determine exactly how long you sleep during your study.

Sleep latency

Sleep latency refers to the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep after you try to fall asleep.

Sleep efficiency

Sleep Efficiency refers to TST in comparison the Total Time Spent in Bed.


An arousal is an interruption in your sleep. This is usually caused by the suspected sleep disorder.

Apnea or AHI

Apneas refer to times during sleep when your breathing stops. Your airflow during this time is decreased by 90% or more.


Hypopneas refer to events where your breathing is shallower than it should be. Your airflow during this time is decreased by 30%.

Stage 1 sleep (N1)

This is the lightest stage of sleep that is a brief transition between wake and sleep.

Stage 2 sleep (N2)

Stage 2 sleep is slightly deeper than stage one and takes up about half of your time spent in bed.

Stage 3 sleep (N3)

These are very important stages of sleep as they are what will make you feel rested and refreshed upon awakening the next day.

Stage REM sleep

Stage REM is a cognitively active stage. This is also a compressed stage that is important to achieve and will make you feel rested and refreshed as well.

Common Questions

No, the sleep study is not painful, but the Technologist may ask you to try to sleep on your back during the study. Please inform the Technologist if sleeping on your back is uncomfortable.

Most people do not have difficulty sleeping during the study. If you do have trouble falling asleep, medication may be used to help you. Here at California Sleep Solutions, we do not administer or prescribe any medication. Even if you are unable to sleep the entire time, you will likely sleep long enough for your doctor to make a diagnosis.

IWe are not able to accommodate guests in our facilities beyond 11:00 PM, except for guardianship purposes or for care giving. Please contact our office at least 72 hours in advance to make arrangements for care givers..

Yes, you can use the restroom in the sleep center. The Technologist can easily disconnect the wires so that you can go to the bathroom privately.

Yes, be sure to bring any medications that you take at bedtime. Please let the Technologist know about the medications before you take them.

Generally, it is required for you to try to sleep in the bed. Sleeping in an elevated position in a recliner may affect the results of the study. We do have wedges for you to sleep under if needed.

We have a hotel like setting with large queen or full beds that have firm tops for a better night sleep.

If you receive CPAP therapy during the second half of the study, the sleep Technologist will help you get used to the treatment. The sleep Technologist may try more than one type of mask or make other adjustments to help you feel more comfortable.

One of our board-certified sleep physicians will review the data that we collect during the night and send their recommendations to your physician. The results of your study should be sent to your physician in about two weeks. If your physician doesn’t contact you with the results, you may want to give them a call to schedule a follow up appointment. Your sleep study will also be uploaded to OnPatient for you to view.

Yes, you should wear loose unrevealing night clothing that will allow access to your chest and lower legs..