Sleep Study

Expert sleep study lab services for sleep conditions

Sleep Study at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham

If your doctor thinks that you may have a sleep disorder, they may recommend a sleep study. You may be able to complete this sleep test at home, or you may need to come into our sleep center. We offer sleep studies for those spending time in the hospital (inpatient), as well as same-day appointments (outpatient).

Your doctor can use a sleep study to diagnose many types of sleep conditions:

Preparing for Your Sleep Study

Review these steps before the day of your test.

Before Your Test

You are responsible for any insurance deductibles or copayments needed for your study. If you aren’t sure about your out-of-pocket expenses, please contact your insurance company before your sleep study.

On the Day of Your Test

On the day of your sleep study, you should:

  • Take all your regular medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Bring with you any medications you take regularly or any medications you may need, such as inhalers or epi-pens.
  • Leave all valuables — such as money or jewelry — at home. We are not responsible for any lost items.
  • Bring comfortable (non-silky) pajamas, preferably two-pieces.
  • Bring personal toiletry items — such as deodorant and toothpaste. We provide towels.
  • Bring a book or magazine to read, if you want.

On the day of your sleep study, you should not:

  • Take a nap
  • Consume alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine
  • Use cream or oil products on your hair or skin

Our Sleep Studies

Get details on the types of sleep study we offer, and what to expect if you come in for a sleep study.

Diagnostic Polysomnogram (PSG)

Typically, this is an overnight in-laboratory recording. However, if you routinely sleep during the day or evenings, our team can customize your testing hours as long as your physician makes arrangements in advance. We don’t use any invasive procedures with our routine PSG tests, also called polysomnography.

The PSG records essential data to help us make a diagnosis:

  • Air flow in nose and mouth
  • Blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)
  • Body movements
  • Brain waves (using electroencephalogram, or EEG)
  • Breathing effort
  • Heart rate and rhythm (using electrocardiogram, or ECG)
  • Eye movements (using electrooculogram, or EOG)
  • Muscle contractions and movements (using electromyography, or EMG)
  • Pressure fluctuations in the nose
Split Night PSG

During the first hours of your PSG, if the data we collect strongly shows that you have obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, you may benefit from a split night PSG. In this case, our team will place an air-tight, lightweight, rubbery nose mask over your face, mouth and nose, or nostrils.

This mask supplies the required air pressure to prevent obstructions (blockages) of your upper airway for the rest of the PSG test.

Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Titration Study

If your doctor diagnosed you with sleep apnea after a previous study sleep, you may need this subsequent sleep apnea test. The goal of this study is to determine the minimum amount of pressure to prevent these obstructions.

In this test, our team places an airtight, lightweight, rubbery nose mask over your face, mouth and nose, or nostrils. This mask supplies air pressure to prevent obstructions of your airway. Depending on your needs, we can provide different types of air pressure therapy:

  • Adaptive servo ventilation (ASV)
  • Advanced types of ventilation for respiratory failure
  • Bilevel (BPAP)
  • Continuous (CPAP)
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)

If your doctor diagnosed you with narcolepsy after a previous study sleep, you may need this subsequent test.

The MSLT begins two hours after you wake up. You then are encouraged to sleep five consecutive times, once every two hours.

Multiple Wakefulness Test (MWT)

This is a variation of the MSLT, in which you will be instructed to stay awake sitting up in bed — rather than napping — every two hours. Transportation and aviation authorities sometimes require this test to show that you can stay awake for certain periods of time.

Home Sleep Testing (HST)

A home sleep study uses a small, portable device with limited recorded channels that can be used at home to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Place a belt around your chest to monitor your breathing.
  • Wear a finger sensor to monitor your oxygen levels and pulse rate.
  • Place a nasal cannula under your nose to detect snoring and breath-by-breath blockages, or partial blockages, in the airway.

Your physician can provide more details on whether this test is right for you. HST is available for BID Needham Sleep Center referrals through Neurocare Center for Sleep (with interpretation of the home sleep test by a BID Needham sleep specialist).

Changing Your Appointment

The Sleep Center has reserved a specially equipped room and assigned a sleep technologist for your study. Please notify us at 617-796-7766 as soon as possible — and within five working days before your appointment — if you need to reschedule.

Reschedule Your Sleep Study

If you need to reschedule your sleep study, please call.