Sleep studies, whether in a controlled setting or at your home, are intended to evaluate the quality of sleep and determine if there are organic reasons behind your less than restful slumber. To that end, there’s not a lot that you need to do in order to prepare for a home sleep study. For the most part, you follow the usual routine. There are a few recommendations that your doctor is likely to make. Here are four examples.
Be Mindful of Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is great, but it does interfere with sleep. It’s a good idea to refrain from consuming anything containing caffeine in the hours before you retire. Some professionals may recommend that you have your last caffeine of the day around lunchtime and don’t indulge again until the following morning.
What does that mean avoiding? No afternoon cup of coffee, no sipping sodas at your desk, and neither of the two with the evening meal. You also want to stay away from nibbling on chocolate. Any beverages that you consume should be free of any caffeine content. You can manage with products advertised as caffeine-free since they only contain minute traces in most instances. For those who want a warm cup of something, consider herbal teas that are naturally free of caffeine content.
The Same Goes for Alcohol
If you’re in the habit of having a drink sometime after work or before bed, let that one slide in the hours before your sleep study. While alcohol does have a relaxing effect, it’s short-lived. That means you’re more likely to wake up after having nodded off.
See this as an opportunity to try something different to relax after work. Chamomile tea may be a good choice in terms of helping you unwind. Your doctor can offer some other suggestions for substitutions.
Take Your Medications as Usual
One of the questions that many people ask is if they should take their medications as usual before settling in for the home sleep study. That answer is yes. While different beverages and foods are options that you make, medications are often prescribed to help with your health issues. Don’t consider them to be optional.
There’s one exception to this rule: if your doctor recommends letting one or more of them go for the evening, it’s okay to do so. Keep in mind this is not a decision that you make on your own. Choosing to refrain from taking medication, especially when it’s taken to control a condition that’s potentially life-threatening – will not do you any good.
Go to Bed at the Usual Time
Now is not the time to go to bed sooner or later than usual. In fact, it’s best to keep the basic routine as typical as possible. Do have your evening shower, settle into bed, and even read for a short time if that’s your habit.
The goal is to replicate typical conditions as much as possible. Doing so will help provide valuable clues as to why you may be having trouble achieving the deep sleep that your body and mind need.
There may be other suggestions that your doctor offers. Whatever they happen to be, include them in your preparation for the sleep study. Hopefully, the results will provide insight into what needs to change in order for you to sleep more soundly.