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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need a sleep study?

Normally the sleep study is performed to investigate the following symptoms:

Fragmented and non-refreshing sleep.
Patient is very sleepy during the daytime.
Loud snoring.Breath holding events during sleep.
Restless legs and periodic limb movements.
Night terrors and abnormal dreams.

During sleep, several physiological changes happen in the brain and body.  Disrupted or poor quality sleep has negative effect on a person`s mood, performances and capability to function during the day.

Overnight Sleep Study is conducted to fully understand sleep related problems.  During the Sleep Study the sleep technologist will placed electrodes on the surface of the skin, over the head, nose, chest, chin and legs to monitor the brain activity and the body system such as; breathing pattern, heart rate, leg movements and body position.

The following problems can be diagnosed from the sleep study:

Sleep Apnea – repeated breath-holding events at night.
SnoringHypoventilation
Leg movements
Oxygen de-saturation in blood.
Teeth grinding that can affect sleep.
Night terrors and abnormal dreams.

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Why do I need a sleep study?

A sleep study is commonly performed to investigate the following symptoms:

Un-refreshing sleep
Daytime sleepiness
Breath-holding episodes during sleep
Loud snoring (to find out evidence of sleep apnea)
Leg twisting/restless legs at night
Abnormal behaviours at night (violent and non-violent behaviour in sleep)


During sleep there are changes in the brain and body. Disrupted or poor quality sleep may affect mood changes or person has a tendency to become irritable, fatigued, unable to concentrate and usually disoriented. Performance of mental and physical tasks deteriorates. Some individuals experience paranoid thoughts and auditory visual, and tactile illusions or hallucinations.

To fully understand many sleep-related problems, we need to conduct an overnight sleep study.  During the study, the sleep technician monitor and record the electrical activity of the brain and muscles during sleep, as well as eye movements, hearth rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, leg movements and body position and how they affect your sleep throughout the night.

Problems that can be diagnosed from an overnight sleep study may include:

Sleep Apnea – when a person has repeated breath-holding spells during sleep.

Other breathing problems – e.g.  shallow breathing (hypoventilation)Leg movements that disturb sleep - (Restless Leg Syndrome)

Teeth grinding (bruxism) that can disturb sleep.

Behaviour changes during sleep such as sleep walking or acting out dreams.

A periodic state of rest accompanied by varying degrees of unconsciousness and relative inactivity. The need for and value of sleep is obvious, yet the explanation of why it is so effective in providing a daily renewal of a feeling of health and well-being is lacking.


Although sleep is a time of resting, some of the body systems are actually more active during sleep than when awake.
Many parts of the brain controls and influence the different stages of sleep. 

These sleep stages include:

Drowsiness (stage 1 sleep)

Light sleep (stage 2)

Deep sleep (slow wave sleep) and Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep – the sleep stage when most dreaming occurs)

The sleep technologist who monitors patients determines these stages by measuring different activities of the brain and body.  These activities include brain waves, eye movement and muscle tone.

Videotaping during sleep is also performed with patients consent for some sleep disorders such as sleepwalking or talking, restless limb movements or teeth grinding.

NOTE:  Patient MUST sign a consent form prior to the sleep study. This is one of frequently asked questions by most patients.   Malvern Sleep Clinic technologist explains about the procedures prior the sleep study in the set up room.  In fact, most patients have no trouble sleeping despite wearing the electrodes and other recording equipment attached to their body.

Each room has double sized comfortable beds and a TV. Our staff members are courteous and trained to address any patient concern or special needs. Patient can sleep any time before 12 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. (general wake up time).

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Who will take care of patient during the night?

A technologist will monitor the machines in a control room (separate from the bedroom) and will be available at all times during the night. Should you require any assistance you may press the buzzer (located on top of the headboard or right beside the bed) and the sleep technologist will unplug a device that is connected to the monitoring system and will immediately come to your room for help.
NOTE: There is a physician (sleep specialist) on call during the sleep study and will be available throughout the night in case of emergency.

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How can I prepare for my sleep study?

On the day of sleep study patients are being advised to avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola and chocolate) and try not to take a nap in the afternoon. For men it is always good to shave, if they do not have a beard or moustache. Women, who usually shave their legs, may wish to do so, as there will be electrodes placed on the lower leg near the shinbone. Women should also remove their nail polish and make up.

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What should I bring?

Patient must bring any required nighttime or morning medication. Sleep Clinic are not allowed to provide or administer any medicines.
Patient should also bring their own toothbrush, toot paste, (sleep clinic provides pillow) but patient may bring their own pillow for their own comfort.
Patient must wear something loose or comfortable clothing as pajamas!
Patient must bring their health card as well as list of their current medications.
Patient using positional therapy or CPAP/ BiPAP unit must bring the machine along with the mask and headgear.

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Where is Malvern Sleep Clinic?

Malvern Sleep Clinic is located in the plaza at 1371 Neilson Road in Scarborough, Ontario M1B 4Z8. Our telephone number is (416) 282-9119.  Parking is in the front of the plaza, and is free for all during evenings.  Entrance is through the doors located near the IDA Pharmacy that say "Offices" (if the doors are locked press the buzzer on the left side).

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What happens after my sleep study?

After the study, the sleep specialist will receive a preliminary morning report from the sleep technologist about your study.  The recording is “staged” for sleep by examining the 7-9 hours of the recording in 30 seconds and scored for breathing events, limb movements, or other features of sleep disorders by a sleep technologist.  The record and report is then reviewed and interpreted by the sleep specialist.  Treatment recommendations will be made if evidence of a sleep disorder is diagnosed.  Please let the physician know prior to your overnight sleep study if you wish to have a consultation with the sleep specialist.

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When will my family doctor get the results?

Within 3 to 4 weeks your family doctor will get a complete report about your sleep study.

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What is MWT?

MWT – Multiple Wakefulness Test (MWT) is a way of determining your ability to stay awake. During this test you will be asked to sit quietly in a darkened room for 20 minutes while trying to stay awake.

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What is MSLT?

MSLT – Multiple Sleep Latency Test.

The sleep specialist may order an additional test e.g. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) along with the overnight sleep study. This means that you will need to stay at the sleep laboratory for most of the next day for a series of brief naps that begins the morning after your overnight sleep is finished.  The naps, last for about 20 minutes each, and are scheduled approximately every 2 hours after you wake-up.

The electrodes from the legs, neck and nose are removed and other electrodes remain attached, as they are needed for monitoring naps.  The amount and type of sleep you get during the naps can help the sleep specialist understand complaints of sleepiness better and make decisions about specific sleep disorders and treatments.  Please note that the completion of sleep study is very important for all the MSLT patients.

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