Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Instructions for Arrival
- Arrive between 8:30 and 9pm
- When you arrive at the Barlow Building garage, please enter through the daily parking entrance (it will be the second entrance to your right, further up when you first see the barlow building parking garage sign). Park anywhere on that level, which is the P3 level (if you park on any other level, you will be asked to move your car). You will be charged the overnight fee ($14) when you leave in the morning. WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VALIDATE PARKING.
- If staying for MSLT the next morning, it would be advisable to bring a cap or hoodie if they plan on going out at some point.
- Please try to remove any nail polish (especially gel nail polish) before coming for the study as it interferes with some of the data that need to be collected for the study.
- If you are currently using CPAP or have a CPAP machine (even if you haven’t used it in a while), please bring it with you to the study, regardless of anything else anyone might have told you when you made your appointment.
If you have any questions please call 301-654-0209.
1. What do I need to bring to my study appointment?
You will need to bring your health insurance card, driver’s license or photo ID, any copayment, pajamas or something to sleep in and toiletries, including bedtime and morning medications. If your insurance requires a referral, you will need to bring this with you. If you are currently on CPAP therapy, you should bring your CPAP machine, tubing, and mask, so that our sleep techs can inspect them. Other items that patients find helpful to bring include a favorite pillow, reading material, an iPod or MP3 player, a snack, items that help you be more comfortable and fall asleep in the lab environment (e.g. teddy bears) and please bring copies of prior sleep studies.
2. Is there wireless Internet available during my daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) or Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT)?
Yes, Wi-Fi is available, but you must bring your own computer.
3. Should I take my regular medications prior to the study?
- Most of the sleep studies are done with you taking your usual medications at the usual times. You may ask the doctor who referred you for your sleep study if there are any special instructions.
- Daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Tests to assess the extent of daytime sleepiness are usually done off all stimulating medications and caffeine. Consult your referring physician early for specific instructions regarding your stimulant medications as these may need to be reduced gradually. Please do not drive if you are off your stimulants.
- Daytime Maintenance of Wakefulness Tests (MWT) are obtained to assess your response to treatment and when safety issues, especially driving, have been raised. The MWT is generally done with you taking all of your usual medications.
4. What about caffeine?
You should not consume caffeine day of your daytime nap study. If you regularly drink caffeine, you should reduce your caffeine consumption by one cup per day to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches that can ruin your study. If you are coming in for an overnight sleep study, do not consume any caffeine after noontime on the day of your study.
5. Why do you need my driver’s license and insurance card?
We are required by law to check identification to prevent identity theft and/or insurance fraud. We keep all records confidential.
6. May I sleep naked?
No. As a courtesy to our sleep techs we request that you sleep in pajamas or a t-shirt and underwear at a minimum.
7. What happens next?
If you have not already done so, please schedule an appointment with us to discuss your results and treatment options. Alternately, you can follow up with the doctor who referred you for your sleep study. Many of our referring doctors prefer that you review your results with us; please consult them early to clarify this and avoid a scheduling delay. Results of your sleep study are available approximately ten business days after your study.
8. What kinds of monitoring equipment do you use?
We attach leads (small electrodes and wires) to your face, scalp, chest, and legs. There is also an oxygen sensor on one of your fingers, and elastic belts around your chest and abdomen. All of these sensors are painless. Most patients are surprised in the morning that they were able to sleep with all of these sensors. Finally, the conductive paste on the electrodes is tenacious but water soluble. You will want to shower and shampoo in the morning if you are leaving directly for work.
9. Is food served during the study?
We do not provide food. If you are coming in for an overnight study, we recommend that you eat a regular dinner prior to coming in (not too late, please). If you usually have an evening snack, please bring it with you (we recommend yogurt). If you are here for a daytime nap study, you may bring food with you for breakfast and lunch, or go out for your meals. There is a microwave and refrigerator available in the patient lounge. In between daytime naps, patients frequently go down to the Barlow Building deli on the ground floor.
10. Do you validate parking?
No, we are unable to validate parking. Parking is available in the Barlow Building as well as other close locations. For details please click here. The Friendship Heights Metro station (on the Red Line; Western Ave exit) is less than a block away from the sleep lab, and may be a better option, especially if you are experiencing significant sleepiness or fatigue.
11. May I go to the bathroom once all the sensors are hooked up and I am in bed?
Yes. If during the night you need to use the restroom, simply let the sleep techs know, and you can easily be untethered so you can walk to the bathroom.
12. Will my insurance cover the sleep study?
Prior to your sleep study, our billing office will contact your insurance company to check the eligibility and benefits of your policy. If your responsibility (your copay or coinsurance, plus any deductible) is more than $50.00, we will contact you to let you know. You may contact the billing office by telephone: 301-654-1575, ext. 209. If the results of your sleep study lead your treating physician to prescribe CPAP therapy, you must contact the homecare durable medical equipment (DME) company regarding your policy’s eligibility and benefits (see question 13).
13. Will my insurance cover CPAP?
Yes, most insurance companies cover CPAP machines and supplies. For details, check the durable medical equipment (DME) paragraph on your policy.
14. How do I get a CPAP machine?
Following a CPAP titration study, we will, with your permission, order a CPAP machine through a homecare company that participates with your insurance. We do this to expedite therapy and are not remunerated for this service. Once we have sent the prescription, the durable medical equipment company will contact you to discuss your insurance benefits and schedule an appointment to bring the equipment to you. We are able to provide equipment directly to patients with some of the BlueCross/BlueShield policies, including the Federal FEP plans. If you do not wish us to order equipment for you, we can, at your request, send a prescription to you. We recommend that you also schedule a follow-up appointment with us to review the results of your study and discuss CPAP treatment options.
15. How long will I be here?
If you are coming in for an overnight sleep study, you should arrive by 9:00 pm and expect to leave by 7:00 am. If you are a night owl, please alert us ahead of time so we can accommodate you and get enough monitoring time to make a diagnosis. Late sleep-ins cannot be arranged for Saturday or Sunday morning.
16. What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a Federal law that establishes basic standards for how health information is protected. The HIPAA form that you sign prior to your sleep study allows you to list persons you authorize to have access to your medical records (such as your other treating physicians or family members). HIPAA also requires medical providers to protect health information of their patients, and to provide written notification to patients of how this is done. When you sign the HIPAA form, your signature acknowledges that you were provided with this written notification of The Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders’ privacy practices. If this has not answered your questions about HIPAA, you may contact our HIPAA Privacy and Security Officer, David Hutchinson, RN at (301)654-1575×113.
Need some guidance and general information? Check out our comprehensive information and useful links page that covers everything from what is a “good night’s sleep” to links to sleep-related organizations around the world.
Wondering about what payment options we are accepting, late fees, or our list of participating insurance providers? All that information is at your finger tips.