What is a sleep study (polysomnogram)?

Some people sleep too much. Others don’t sleep enough. Sometimes people do things—such as walk, talk or snore—when they sleep. A sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) is a painless overnight procedure to evaluate you for those or other sleep disorders.

A sleep study gives doctors important information about how you sleep.

Who needs to attend the appointment?

Although you’re here overnight, your stay is considered an outpatient visit. For this reason, a parent or caregiver must accompany you to provide routine care you need. Examples include giving you medicine and caring for your gastrostomy tube, if you have one.

Your parent or caregiver can sleep overnight in your room or in another room nearby.

What happens during the sleep study?

When you arrive at Gillette, you check in at the fourth floor registration desk. A sleep technologist takes you to your room. There, you get ready for bed.

We place electrodes onto your scalp, using paste to attach them. We use those sensors to record electrical currents in the brain while you sleep. We also place a sensor under your nose to monitor your breathing, and we place elastic belts around your chest and waist. We use those and other sensors to measure your heart rate, eye and limb movements, and oxygen levels.

Placing sensors on the body doesn’t hurt. The sleep study is a safe and painless test.

A sleep technologist/respiratory therapist monitors your sleep study all night.

What should I bring?

Bring everything you might need for an overnight stay at a hotel or someone else’s home. In addition to pajamas, you might want to bring slippers, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, and a favorite blanket, pillow and/or stuffed animal. You can also bring reading materials, crossword puzzles or other activities that you typically enjoy in the evening.

Please bring all medicines you currently take and all medical devices you might need. Make sure your medicines are in their original containers. You or your caregiver will be responsible for making sure you take your medicines and receive other types of routine care (for example, running your feeding pump, if you use one).

If you currently use positive airway pressure, you do NOT need to bring your CPAP/BPAP machine. But please DO bring the mask you currently use.

A week before your appointment, we call to confirm your sleep study appointment and answer any questions you have.

When may I go home?

If you’re only having a polysomnogram, the study will end at 6 a.m. and you’ll be able to leave the hospital by 7 a.m. If you’re also scheduled for a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), plan on staying until 6 p.m. one day after your sleep study begins.

When do I get the study results?

Our doctor reads your sleep study, and we call within a week to discuss the study results.


What to Bring to Your Sleep Study Appointment

  • All medications in their original containers
  • Nutritional supplies, including tubing and pumps
  • Nutritional formulas
  • Tubing for suctioning and respiratory care
  • Pajamas and slippers
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush)
  • Pillow, blanket, stuffed animal
  • Typical evening pastimes

Getting to Our Sleep Health Clinic

Our Sleep Health Clinic is located within Gillette on the fourth floor of Regions Hospital in St. Paul.  The West Ramp for Gillette and Regions is at the corner of University Avenue and Jackson Street (just west of 35E on University Avenue).  You’ll see a sign for Gillette on the building. 


Park in the West Ramp.  Its entrance is on Jackson Street.

Tall Vehicles

If your vehicle is taller than 7 feet, please go to the main entrance to Regions Hospital (off Jackson Street).  Use the valet parking.  If you have Gillette stamp your valet ticket, the cost for valet parking is the same as the cost for parking in the ramp.

Accessible Parking

All of the parking spots on Level D are large enough for wheelchair-accessible vans.  Additional patient parking is available on Levels C, E and F.  Those levels have accessible parking spaces near the hospital entrances, but the spaces aren’t large enough for vans that are wheelchair-accessible.  You must have an accessibility (handicap) sticker to park on Level D or in any of the other accessible spaces.

Parking Rates

To receive a reduced parking rate for patients and families, simply bring your parking ticket to our Information desk in the Sleep Health Clinic.  We’ll stamp your ticket. 

To Enter Gillette

The main entrance to Gillette is on Level D.  If you park on another level, please take an elevator to the fourth floor to enter Gillette.  The elevator is located at the east end of the parking ramp.

To Find Our Sleep Health Clinic

Go to our Information desk (just to the right of the main Gillette entrance on fourth floor.)  We’ll help you find the Sleep Health Clinic.

Watch Our Video

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.