Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing for Your Test

What is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study is also known as polysomnography. Polysomnography is a testing procedure that measures a variety of physical activity such as brain functions and breathing during a sleep session. In the picture to the right you will see all of the "signals" as they appear during a sleep study. It is absolutely crucial for overall health to have "normal sleep" that is appropriate in duration and efficiency. Please keep in mind that individual's needs can vary from person to person.

How long is the wait time to get an appointment?
Our booking wait times usually run about one week. In addition, the sleep center keeps a cancellation list for your earlier convenience.

How do I make an appointment for a sleep study?
Your physician can order a study at the Newton-Wellesley Sleep Center by completing an order form and faxing it to the Sleep Center at 617-243-6776 or by calling us at 617-243-5699.

Will insurance cover my study and appointments?
In most cases, your insurance will cover your sleep study. Please be aware that Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO plans and Tufts PPO and HMO plans require insurance pre-authorizations. Insurance pre-authorizations can be obtained through your physicians offices.

How do I prepare for my study?

  • Maintain a regular sleep wake schedule for several days before going to the sleep lab.
  • DO NOT NAP the day of your study.
  • Avoid caffeine after 12 noon. Since you are sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, it is better to be somewhat tired.
  • Complete your pre-registration online at least 24 hours before your appointment.
  • Several days prior to your appointment, our staff will call you to confirm the appointment and answer any questions you may have concerning your sleep study.
  • There is no prep you need to do before coming for a sleep study.

Should you take a shower before the study?
Yes. You may find that a shower before arriving at the sleep center will make you feel more relaxed. Wash and dry your hair and do not apply any sprays, oils or gels. Also, we advise you not to apply any body lotions, oils, or make-up to skin.

What should I bring the night of my sleep study?
Bring any medications that are needed during the night (even something simple like Tums) as the sleep technologists do not give out any medications. You should bring something comfortable to sleep in.

Your Sleep Test

It sounds like an involved test with equipment, how will I possibly be able to sleep?
Most people sleep reasonably well during sleep studies, so that we can obtain a reliable sample of the individual’s sleep pattern. The sensors are applied so that you can move easily in your sleep, change body positions freely while in bed, and use the bathroom. The sleep rooms are set up like normal, comfortable bedrooms, and our staff makes the environment as comfortable as possible. Patients can control the bedroom’s temperature as well.

Will the sensor devices or tests hurt?
No. This is a painless and non-invasive (no needles) testing procedure. Sometimes, as a result of rubbing the skin or application of the electrodes, there is some mild skin irritation.

What if I have difficulty falling asleep?
If you typically have difficulty falling asleep in an unfamiliar environment, we recommend bringing a book. There is a television in each of the sleep testing rooms. Some patients have had success with over-the-counter sleep aids. Participants are advised to bring their own over-the-counter sleep aids with them.

What happens if I have to use the bathroom during my study?
Every bedroom has an open intercom that will enable you to communicate with our technologist at any time. If you need to use the bathroom during the night, the technologist will assist and disconnect you temporarily.

How many hours do I need to sleep for you to get an accurate reading?
We like to obtain six hours of recorded data with as much sleep recorded as possible. In many cases, a diagnosis can be made with just a few hours of sleep recorded.

What if I feel sick or have an emergency during my test?
Newton-Wellesley sleep center technicians are trained in basic life support. Participants in sleep studies are having their vital statistics monitored closely throughout the study.

What is a CPAP device?
CPAP is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. Fixed-pressure CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) was first invented in 1981. Since that time, these devices have become more advanced and portable. The modern units are smaller, quieter, and offer more features to enhance patient care, such as gradually increasing pressure to the target dose (a “ramp”), heated humidification, and the ability to monitor response.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an intermittent problem in which the upper airway closes and interferes with breathing and sleep, much like a swinging door closes shut. CPAP maintains steady air pressure to prevent the upper airway from collapsing, just as a breeze could hold open a swinging door.

CPAP delivers air through tubing connected to a mask worn over the nose and/or mouth. The comfort and fit of the mask is crucial to minimize air leaks or discomfort. In most cases, treatment of OSA leads to an increase in quality of life for the patient and their sleep partner.

Can staff at the Sleep Lab tell more about my conditions?
The sleep lab staff perform and educate the participant regarding the sleep study, sleep disorders and various treatment options. Results of your sleep study can be discussed with a board certified sleep physician if a sleep consult is requested.

What will by my wake up time?
You will be awakened at 6:00 am. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, please let us know when you arrive in the center so we can accommodate your request. Patients typically leave the Sleep Center between 6:30 and 7:00 am.

After the Study

What happens after the sleep study?
Your test will be scored and then reviewed by a physician specializing in sleep medicine. A report will be sent to your physician with recommendations within 14 business days. 

When will my results be ready and how do I get them?
Sleep study reports will be available within 7 to 10 days after the study is completed. These reports are sent directly to the referring MD.


Where are you located?

All appointments - except sleep studies - take place at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
Directions to Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Sleep testing only is located at the Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, in Newton. The hotel is 2 miles from Newton-Wellesley's main campus.
Directions to Boston Marriot Newton
What are your hours?
Testing is offered Sunday through Friday.

Is parking free?
Yes, parking is free at the Boston Marriot Newton.

What will my room look like?
Sleep testing at the Boston Marriott Newton offers patients the most comfortable environment for sleeping outside of their own bedroom. The testing location occupies a first floor wing of the hotel. Each room has an individual patio opening to the river providing patients with a relaxing and serene setting.

The home-like environment is quiet and comfortable with the best accommodations including a top-quality mattress and luxury bed linens. When patients are able to get a good night of sleep, the technicians are able to collect the necessary data to diagnose their sleep condition.

Questions? Please contact us at 617-243-5699.


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