Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder where a person will stop and start breathing throughout the night while asleep. Severe sleep apnea can be quite serious, and treatment is needed. Common signs of sleep apnea include always feeling tired, waking up in the middle of the night gasping, dry mouth, and headaches in the morning. If you sleep with a partner, he or she may report that you snore loudly, or that he or she has seen you stop and restart breathing. In the event that you have the symptoms of sleep apnea, your doctor may refer you to a sleep apnea center for a sleep study. Use the following tips to help you prepare for a sleep study:

Do Not Nap Prior to a Sleep Study

While it is common for a person who has sleep apnea to feel tired throughout the day due to poor quality sleep, it is important to refrain from taking a nap prior to arriving at the sleep apnea center for your sleep study. If you take a nap the day of your sleep study, it will affect how you sleep at the sleep apnea center, and the specialists there will not be able to gather the data needed to determine if you actually do have sleep apnea.

Avoid Substances that Can Affect Sleep

When you have a sleep study scheduled at a sleep apnea center, do not consume any caffeine in the day or two leading up to your appointment. Caffeine is a stimulant, and having it in your system can disrupt your sleep and skew the results of your sleep study. It is also important to abstain from drinking any alcohol. If you take any medication, talk to you doctor. He or she will tell you whether to stop taking it leading up to your sleep study.

Make Yourself Comfortable

When packing for your sleep study, make sure that you put your most comfortable pajamas in your overnight bag. If you are particular about your bedding, you can also opt to bring your own pillow and blanket. Sleeping in an unfamiliar place can be difficult, so doing what you can to make yourself comfortable during your sleep study is essential. When you are able to relax and unwind because you feel comfortable, the more likely you are to fall asleep so the specialists at the sleep apnea center can get the data that they need from your sleep study.