Tips & Tools for Having a Sleep Study
Many people with fibromyalgia have a sleep study done to make sure there are not any other conditions, like sleep apnea or Restless Legs Syndrome, worsening their sleep. One of the first things to consider when your doctor recommends having a sleep study done is what type of environment you want to have yours done in. Sleep studies are often done in hospitals, but they are also done in sleep study clinics. Specialized clinics typically offer more hotel-like rooms than hospitals do.
I am glad that my Rheumatologist referred me to a sleep clinic, because I feel like I was able to sleep better there than I might have at a hospital. The sleep clinic I went to offered beverages, Tempur-Pedic mattresses and full bathrooms connected the room. If you’re going straight to work after a sleep study, a shower is absolutely necessary to get the glue out of your hair. Remember to pack all your needed toiletries too. Using lotion is not allowed the day of your sleep study (so that sensors can adhere better), so I brought lotion to apply to my dry hands after I was all hooked up.
One of the big decisions you’ll make is what pajamas to sleep in. Sleep technicians suggest wearing a button down shirt, but my V-neck worked just fine for them to reach into and affix sensors. I chose to wear a short sleeve shirt and shorts made of wicking material in case the room felt warm to me. I cannot sleep when I’m hot. I knew that I could always add blankets, but changing from pants to shorts, after being connected to the sensors is impossible. I also wore socks to keep my tootsies warm. To make sure you can get as comfortable as possible, consider bringing your own pillow to sleep on.
The new/strange environment may make it more difficult for you to sleep, so you’ll want to do all that you can to set yourself up for a night of sleep. To do this do not take any naps during the day and refrain from using any caffeine. Also, try to get a sleep study check-in time that is close to your normal sleep time. For me, they were all hours earlier than I typically go to bed, so the morning of my appointment I got up earlier than normal. I was hoping this would make me tired sooner and I think it did help some. Another thing you’ll need to do before your sleep study is remove any nail polish or artificial nails so the oximeter can monitor properly. Contact your sleep study provider to see how many and which nails need to be prepared that way.
What are your tips for having a sleep study?