Sleep Studies

Make an Appointment

Before getting a sleep study, you need to meet with a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders.

The doctors at the UVA Sleep Disorders Center will ask questions about your sleep and general health and perform a physical exam.

If your doctor decides you need a sleep study, you'll need to spend one or more nights in one of our sleep labs.

How a Sleep Study Works

  • A sleep study is painless.
  • A specially trained technologist applies sensors to your head, face, chest, abdomen and legs.
  • State-of-the-art equipment monitors your brain waves, eye movements, breathing, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and muscle activity during sleep. These functions can be normal while the individual is awake but abnormal during sleep.
  • Your referring physician will receive a complete sleep report that defines and diagnoses your sleep-related problem and includes a recommended treatment plan.

How Long is a Sleep Study?

The sleep study runs for 6½-8 hours.

Do I Have to Go to Sleep Right Away?

Lights are turned out in your bedroom usually between 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

What If I Need to Use the Bathroom?

You can call the technician, who will arrange for you to go to the bathroom. You can also call for things such as an extra blanket or a drink of water.

Are the Rooms Private?

Yes, the sleep rooms are private. Each has its own half-bath. The adult rooms are spacious and contain adjustable single beds. There is a mounted TV with remote, which you can use until the sleep recording begins. At lights out, the TV must be turned off.

How Is My Sleep Monitored?

Sleep is monitored with small button-sized objects pasted to your scalp.

How Is My Breathing Monitored?

Small monitors are attached in front of your nose and mouth, loosely fitting bands are placed around your chest and abdomen and a small probe is placed over your finger.

What If My Child Is Having a Sleep Study?

Parents must stay with their children in the sleep room at night.

What Time Can I Leave the Sleep Lab?

You may leave the lab after 6½-8 hours of data is obtained. In addition to the night-time study, your doctor may request daytime testing.

Can I Take a Shower in the Morning?

Yes, shower facilities are available in the sleep lab.

What Should I Bring?

Bring the following with you to the lab:

  • Sleep attire and socks 
  • Medications you are taking
  • Toiletries (tooth brush, toothpaste)
  • Reading materials
  • Preferred pillow, blankets, etc.