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A Polysomnogram is a diagnostic procedure which measures certain body functions during sleep.  Electrodes are placed on several areas of your body including your head, face, legs, chest, waist and finger.  In order to locate the electrodes on your scalp, we will measure your head, mark your scalp with an erasable pencil and secure the electrodes with a washable paste (please contact us immediately if you have a permanent hairpiece or weave). The application of these sensors is painless and can take 45 minutes to an hour to apply.  Their purpose is to record your oxygen level, brain waves, airflow, snoring, leg movements and heart rhythms. The following parameters will be monitored during your study:


  • EEG/Brain Waves (Electrodes must be placed on scalp, a hairpiece or weave may interfere)

  • EKG/Heart Rate (Electrodes placed on the chest)

  • EOG/Eye Movements (Electrodes placed above and below eyes)

  • EMG/Muscle Tension (Electrodes placed on the chin)

  • EMG/Muscle Tension (Electrode placed on both legs)

  • Airflow/Breathing (Sensors attached near nose and mouth)

  • Respiratory Effort (Elastic belts placed around chest and stomach)

  • Oximetry/Blood Oxygen Levels (Small sensor attached to finger)




During sleep, the body functions differently than while awake.  Disrupted sleep, like having sleep apnea, can disturb your daytime activities and create further medical problems. Overall, good restful sleep is required to promote good basic health.




We hear this all the time, surprisingly, most people will sleep the way they usually do at home.  The body sensors are applied so that you may turn and move in your sleep as you normally would.  This is a non-invasive procedure meaning that no needles will be involved and the procedure is painless.  Our staff will try to make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.  Remember, this is not a performance test, only a sample of how you sleep.


The Sleep Center provides a light snack and flat screen cable televisions to make your stay as comfortable as possible. You may go to sleep at your normal bedtime within the constraints of the lab protocols. Keep in mind, the earlier you go to bed, the more time we have to evaluate your sleep. Some patients will use CPAP during the night. During the night, a technologist will be available to assist you as needed. Typically, we begin waking patients at 5:30 am, unless a later or earlier wake up time is desirable. Please keep in mind that the equipment takes approximately 20 minutes to remove. There are showers and towels in all of our bathrooms to freshen up before leaving the lab by 6:15. Coffee and a light breakfast are also provided by The Sleep Center. 


What to do before your appointment:


In order to ensure your visit goes smoothly, please:

  • complete all paperwork and questionaiires ahead of time

  • Arrive for your appointment on time




  • A list of all medications you are currently taking, including sleeping medications, vitamins and supplements.

  • If you take medications at night or in the morning, make sure to bring them to your sleep study appointment. The Sleep Center does not have a pharmacy and cannot provide you with any medications.

  • All insurance cards and a photo ID.

  • Something to sleep in (pajamas, t-shirt and shorts) along with a robe for comfort. Sleeping in the nude is not permitted.  Please do NOT wear silk, satin or nylon, they may cause static which will interfere with the study.

  • If you have a favorite pillow or blanket, feel free to bring it.

  • Any items that would make you more comfortable (example: a book, laptop, etc.). Remember, to ensure a valid sleep study, please try to keep reading and laptop usage to a minimum. We must have at least 6 hours of sleep. 

  • Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, shampoo, etc.), and a change of clothes for the next day. The lab provides towels and bedding (but no toiletries).


When to arrive:


Please arrive at the time your study is scheduled for. If you have an 9pm study, please arrive at 9pm. 


Cancellation Policy


The Sleep Center of Austin requires at least 48 hours advanced notice for a sleep study to be cancelled without penalty. Sleep Studies cancelled within 48 hours will encure a $125 fee. If you think for any reason you need to cancel your study, please call us as soon as possible at 512-697-9896. 


Where to go:


The Sleep Center of Austin is located at 5929 Balcones Drive Suite 305 Austin, Texas 78731. 


Our after hours telephone number is 512-915-1717



If you have difficulty staying alert while driving please make arrangements for transportation to and from the lab.



What to do the night of your Sleep Study:


  • Avoid caffeine or other stimulants after 4 pm on the day of your study.

  • Eat a light dinner.

  • Please arrive with your hair and skin clean and dry. Do not use lotions, oils, gels, or sprays on your hair or skin.

  • Unless wearing a full beard, men must be clean shaven (no stubble). 

  • Do not take a sleep aid prior to your arrival. Please ask your attending technician when you should take it. 

  • Upon arrival, your attending technician will be working diligently to get you prepared for bed. Ideally, the sooner you can try to go to sleep, the better. However, if you must watch some TV or work on your laptop, we ask that it be kept to a minimum. Again, our main concern is to get enough sleep time to ensure a valid sleep study for you and your physician. Thank you for your understanding.

  • For a complete study, it is best to have six to seven hours in bed. Your sleep study will end between 5:00 and 6:00 A.M. You will be discharged from the lab no later than 6:15 A.M. (unless prior arrangements are made).


Who can stay with me?


Guests are not permitted to stay overnight, though arrangements for caregivers can be made when necessary. For children under 18 years of age, disabled, or otherwise non-independent patients, we require and allow only one parent or caregiver to stay overnight. A recliner is available in the room for the caregiver to sleep. Sharing the bed will interfere with the sleep study.


What about food?


Please eat before you arrive. The Sleep Center will provide snacks and drinks for refreshments. Coffee and a light breakfast are available in the morning for overnight study guests. Patients who are undergoing MSLT or MWT studies can have food delivered to The Sleep Center by a number of different restaurants in the area that provide delivery. 


Considerations before the night of your study:




  • Do you have special needs or require a personal caregiver? Your caregiver will be required to stay all night.

  • Do you have incontinence or bowel issues that may interfere with your overnight sleep study?

  • Do you use a wheelchair, walker or require a special mechanical lift?

  • Do you have any food, environmental, tape or latex allergies?

  • Do you normally sleep during the day instead of night (shift workers)?

  • Do you have a permanent hairpiece or weave that may prevent electrode placement on your scalp?

  • If you have a cold, flu or other illness on the day of your sleep study, you may need to be re-scheduled. 


Please call us at 512-697-9895 if you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions. 


What happens next?


Your sleep study data will be sent to a board certified sleep physician for reading and interpretation. When complete, the results and recommendations will be sent back to your referring physician. This process can take up to 7 business days. 


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