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Multiple Sleep Latency Test

Measuring Daytime Sleepiness

The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) is a nap study used to see how quickly you fall asleep during the day. This is how we measure daytime sleepiness. Finding out how sleepy you are during the day during times where you should be awake and alert can help us learn more about your night time sleeping patterns.

The MSLT tracks your brain waves, heartbeat, eye movement, chin movement, and rapid-eye-movement (REM) during sleep. This information all helps doctors determine if a patient has a sleep disorder. This test is primarily recommended for patients who might have narcolepsy, a condition which causes people to fall asleep at abnormal times.

What Happens During the Test?

Once you are scheduled for an exam, you will be instructed to stop using stimulants for two weeks, as these can interfere with the results. MSLT usually takes place after an overnight sleep study. After your overnight study, you will remain in the exam room and have five opportunities to nap for 15 minutes, with 2 hour breaks in between each nap.

Noninvasive sensors will be placed on your head, face, and chin to measure vital signs. None of the devices attached to your require piercing the skin and should be completely painless.

The Results

After your test, it usually takes about two weeks for sleep specialists to analyze the results. When they’ve finished, they will share their findings with your doctor, who will contact you to discuss the findings. This information should allow your doctor to diagnose your sleep disorder so you can start a treatment plan.

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