Ask the Sleep Team: What is it Like to Spend the Night in a Sleep Lab?
My doctor wants me to have a sleep test done and is sending me to a sleep lab. I’m not sure what to expect–I’ve heard really different things from people who have done it. What is it really like to spend the night in a sleep lab?
Sleep Team’s Answer:
Your experience with a sleep lab can vary a lot, depending on the lab and how easy it is for you to sleep in unfamiliar places. Some people find the experience relatively uneventful, but many do not enjoy it at all. It can be really difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar room, connected to many machines, and while being observed by a sleep crew. Unfortunately this means that, sometimes, the patient does not actually sleep long enough during the night to get conclusive results for the study and may have to repeat the process all over again. Home sleep testing can be a great option for diagnosing sleep apnea, and in straight-forward cases with no other suspected complications, it is just as effective as a sleep lab. Let’s take a look at some examples:
In this first video, we can see an example of the rare sleep lab that has been set up to be comfortable, home-like, and peaceful. If you’re lucky enough to be assigned to a sleep lab like this, your experience might be a bit more relaxing: