Can I take a sleep aid (or sleeping pill) before my sleep study?

Are you nervous about your upcoming sleep study appointment or worried that you won’t be able to sleep with all of those wires or in unfamiliar surroundings? We will make you as comfortable as possible; still, some patients ask us: is it OK to take a sleeping aid or sleeping pill before my sleep study? 

Our goal is to watch you sleep so that we can evaluate you for a sleep disorder. When a patient is unable to fall asleep during the evaluation, it precludes our ability to monitor their sleeping patterns. It is common for some patients to take sleeping pills to help achieve the goals of the study. 

Points to consider before taking a sleeping aid before your sleep study:

1. Business as usual

Continue to take any prescribed medications that you usually take (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor). If you usually take a medication at night, bring it with you to the sleep center.

2. Tell us everything

List all medication, prescribed or over-the-counter (including any sleep aids), that you have taken, on your medication list in your intake paperwork.

3. Be safe

We don’t know what effect the sleep aid may have on you, so please arrange for safe transportation home from the sleep center in the morning.

4. Why are you coming in for the sleep study?

Generally, sleep aids have little or no effect on the diagnosis’s made from your sleep study data, but the reasons for having the sleep study need to be considered. If you are having the sleep study to evaluate sleep disordered breathing, like obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep aid shouldn’t have any effect on your normal breathing patterns. Sleep aids may change your sleep architecture like reducing the latency to sleep onset, altering the depth of sleep, changing the percentage of time spent in some sleep stages and increasing your total sleep time or sleep efficiency which could impact your diagnosis for other sleep disorders like insomnia.

In conclusion, it’s best to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. Most importantly, please make sure that you include the sleep aid, if you decide to take it, on your medications list.

If you haven’t already scheduled your sleep study because you are nervous about falling asleep in the sleep center, contact us today! We’ll answer all of your questions and make you as comfortable as possible in the sleep center.

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Comments

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