The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (WMT)

The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) provides an objective measure of your ability to remain awake for a defined period of time.  As this ability can be influenced by many factors, it is very important that you strictly adhere to the following instructions prior to, and during the test.


The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) is generally performed on the day following an overnight sleep study to ensure you have had adequate sleep quantity and quality the night before.  In some instances, however, your referring Physician may have not considered this to be necessary.

The MWT consists of a series of four 40-minute test sessions, separated by two-hour intervals. 

During each session you will be instructed to try to stay awake as long as you can.  Your EEG (electrical activity of your brain) will be monitored during each session which will be conducted with you seated in a dimly lit room.  In the two-hour interval between sessions it’s very important that you remain awake, as any inadvertent sleep during this time may affect your ability to remain awake on the subsequent sessions.   During these intervals you can watch TV, read or bring something to work on.


Following your overnight sleep study some of the electrodes/sensors used overnight, but no longer required for the MWT, will be removed and you will be asked to change from your night attire into your normal day clothes.  The electrodes applied to your face/head will remain attached for the MWT.

The MWT is commenced between 1.5 and 3 hours following the end of your overnight sleep study.  During this intervening period it is again essential that you remain awake and out of bed.

The overnight sleep study will generally be ended at 7:00am and the MWT commenced between 9:00-10:00am


As caffeine and nicotine are stimulants we ask that you don’t have any caffeine-containing food or drinks on the day of the MWT.  This includes coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, cola, and also guarana-containing drinks such as Red Bull and V.  You cannot consume alcohol on the day of the study.

You will be able to smoke (outside the hospital grounds) on the day of your study; however, we will ask that you stop smoking 30 minutes before each test.


During the two weeks prior to your MWT your Physician may have asked you to complete a sleep diary to provide information about your normal sleep pattern.  Please ensure you bring your completed diary to your sleep study appointment.


Breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Should you wish to bring any additional snacks please ensure that any foods or drinks you bring do not contain caffeine, alcohol or guarana.