The Sleep Study

THE SLEEP STUDY – St Vincent’s Private Hospital

Your doctor has referred you for an overnight sleep study.  This is a procedure in which many activities of the body are monitored while you sleep.  The purpose of the sleep study is to determine whether you have a sleep disorder or to treat already diagnosed sleep disordered breathing.  Simple, non-invasive sensors are attached to your scalp, face, chest and legs in order to measure brain, heart, lung and movement activity during sleep.  During the study you will sleep in a private bedroom adjacent to a room in which most of the computer recording equipment is operating.  A trained Sleep Technologist stays monitor the recording from the sleep lab and provide any assistance you may require.

Please have dinner before you arrive as an evening meal is not provided.  Tea, coffee making and microwave facilities are available.  Bites Cafe, located in the main hospital foyer, is open until 6.30pm.

The Technologist will prepare the equipment which takes approximately 1 hour.  You will still be free to move around your room and may read or watch TV until you are ready to go to bed.  The study will be ended the following morning at 6.00-6.30am.  The Technologist will remove all equipment and you are free to shower before a light breakfast is delivered at 7.00am.  Discharge is immediately following breakfast.

Should you need to leave earlier than 7.00am (due to work commitments etc) please notify the Technologist upon arrival at the Sleep Unit.


Once you have come into the main entrance, register your attendance with the booking staff located ahead of you by the lifts. The sleep rooms are level 6. All sleep rooms are en-suite.


Surprisingly, most people sleep well.  The sensors are applied so that you can turn and move during your sleep.  Generally, you will not be aware that you are wearing the sensors after they have been on for a short time. 


Although you will be wearing a number of sensors, they all connect to a single box which can be quickly disconnected should you need to get up during the night.  You will be able to communicate with the Sleep Technologist at any time during the night via a bedside intercom.


  • ALL your usual medications and any sleeping tablets (in their original packaging) that you would normally take during the evening and with breakfast
    (Issue of medications by the hospital after hours is difficult and there are often lengthy delays)
  • Your Medicare Card and private health insurance card if you have membership
  • Contact details for your GP if you’d like a copy of your study results forwarded
  • Comfortable, warm night attire, a pair of socks (the Sleep Unit is air-conditioned)
  • Toiletries including shampoo (to remove the electrode paste from your scalp) – towels and soap are supplied
  • Your own pillow or anything else that may help you sleep more comfortably
  • Something to read or work on while your study is prepared (your room has a TV with major free-to-air programming)
  • For those patients having follow-up CPAP or Bi-PAP studies please bring your machine & accessories


  • Keep to your regular routine as much as possible – we aim to simulate as closely as possible your normal night’s sleep
  • Unless instructed otherwise by your referring doctor, take all your medications as usual
  • Try to avoid napping on the day of your study
  • Consume your normal quantity of caffeine-containing beverages and/or ‘’energy drinks’’
  • You may shower at home or alternatively in your en-suite after arrival at the Sleep Unit
  • Ensure your hair is dry and free from gels, spray or oil

  • For males please ensure a clean-shaven face (as electrodes will be placed on your chin).  If you have a beard please ignore this request as we will use an alternative site for electrode attachment.
  • For females please remove nail polish / acrylic nails from one of your middle or ring fingers (the sensor used to monitor your oxygen level is attached at this site)


Parking is available in the parking station, entry via Victoria Street in front of the main hospital entrance. This is a privately owned facility and fees are charged.  The total fee to park overnight is $25.00: consisting of a night rate (entry after 4.00pm) parking fee of $12.00* plus a casual day rate of $13.00 (exit 1-1.5 hours after the car park opens at 6:30am). For more information contact Grimes Parking P 8382 3896.

*You must pay the cashier ON ARRIVAL or you will be charged the full rate.


St Vincent’s Hospital is a smoke-free environment (as per the NSW Department of Health Regulations).

Consumption of alcohol within the hospital and its environs is not permitted.


The admission time for your sleep study is 7.00pm.


Should you feel unwell or have any other condition which is preventing you from sleeping well at home, or should you be unable to attend your appointment, please notify the Sleep Unit at least 24 hours before your sleep study so that your appointment can be rescheduled and a replacement arranged.


Complete analysis and reporting of your sleep study takes several days.  If any medical problems, which require immediate intervention, are identified you will be informed by telephone.  A full report will be sent to your referring specialist within 10 days.  Please ensure you have arranged a follow-up appointment with your referring doctor to discuss the result.


On occasion cancellations do occur and appointments may become available at short notice.  If you would like to be placed on the cancellation list please contact the Sleep Unit.


The hospital provides a free and confidential interpreter service in 60 languages, including AUSLAN.  If booked, an interpreter will generally attend the Sleep Unit for 1-2 hours at the beginning of the study to assist with hospital admission, completion of any documentation and to provide an explanation of the test procedures.  Should you require an interpreter please contact the Sleep Unit at least 5 days ahead of the study.  Alternatively, you may wish to have a family member accompany you for the first few hours of the study.


Should you require assistance with feeding, dressing or bathing your care giver should also attend your sleep study overnight.  The Sleep Unit employs scientific staff who will not be able to provide nursing care.  A mattress can be made up in the room for your care giver.


Should your partner wish to accompany you for your sleep study, details of accommodation close to the hospital can be found at under the patient information tab.

Should you need to travel 100km or more (one-way) to St Vincent’s Hospital and not be able to access a specialist Sleep Service locally you may be entitled to financial assistance with travel costs from IPTAAS (Isolated Patients’ Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme).  For more information contact the Social Work Department on

Ph. 02 8382 2213.