Frequently asked questions

Which kind of study is the best?

A sleep clinic is a carefully controlled environment. The results from a study here will be the best they can be. The staff will constantly watch all the signals collected. However being in an unfamiliar environment can be difficult for some patients. For these people, the information from a home sleep study will be better than if they had to stay overnight in a sleep clinic. Both methods have their place and you should discuss this with your doctor.

What does the sleep study tell your doctor?

The signals from the brain show when you are asleep and when you wake up from sleep. The breathing signals and oxygen levels give information about breathing during sleep. Some patients have stop-start breathing during the night, a disorder called sleep apnoea. The leg leads show if there is any movement or twitching, which may disturb sleep. A sleep study can also pick up other rarer sleep problems.

What are the risks of a sleep study?

Using creams and tape, small leads are attached to your head and your body. In some people the cream may cause temporary skin irritation, but nothing done in a sleep study will hurt.

How do I know if I need a sleep study?

If you are worried about your sleep or think that you may have a sleep problem, you should see your GP. Often, your GP can treat the problem. If not, you can be referred to a sleep specialist. This is the best person to work out if you need a sleep study. Having a sleep study without seeing a doctor is not the best way to do it. The wrong information may be collected and your sleep may not be helped. A sleep problem is a serious issue. It needs to be dealt with properly.

What do I need to do to get ready for my sleep study?

The sleep study clinic will give you information about what you need to do and bring to your study. Usually, there are no special things that you need to do before your study - you should try and do exactly what you do on a normal day.

How much will a sleep study cost?

All sleep studies are bulk billed for patients with a valid Medicare card and GP referral.

How will I be able to sleep in a strange environment with all those wires on me?

Our sleep clinic is designed to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Our rooms are nicely decorated and may remind you of a hotel. It is so quiet and peaceful that most patients fall asleep quickly. It is expected that you might not sleep quite as well as you do at home. This should not hinder the study or affect the results.

What if I don't sleep well?

Although you probably won't fall asleep as easily or sleep as well at the sleep clinic as you do at home, this usually doesn't affect the test results. A full night's sleep isn't required to obtain accurate polysomnography results.

What if I need to get up during the night?

The sleep scientist will monitor you throughout the night. If you need assistance, you can talk to them through the monitoring equipment. They can come into the room to detach the wires if you need to get up during the night.

What happens after the sleep study?

In the morning, the sensors are removed, and you may leave the clinic. You can return to your usual activities after polysomnography. Follow up will depend on the instructions given by the doctor who recommended the test. You will either return to the referring doctor for your results, or it may have been recommended that you follow up with one of our Sleep Physicians. If you have been recommended to follow up with one of our Sleep Physicians, we will make an appointment for you.