Multiple Sleep Latency Test

Your physician may request that you have a daytime multiple sleep latency test, which is often done following an overnight sleep study. The daytime multiple sleep latency test evaluates how often and how quickly you fall asleep in quiet situations during the day.

You will be monitored for about 20 minutes every two hours. The technologist will then ask you to stay up until the next nap time. The test begins about two hours after awakening in the morning, and usually continues to late afternoon or early evening.

This test consists of five naps lasting approximately 10 to 30 minutes. You will have a nap once every two hours starting at approximately 10:00 am.

The test is painless and takes about seven hours to complete. It is not a treatment, but a single test that contributes to your total medical evaluation.

The multiple sleep latency test will record your brain waves or EEG, heart rate or EKG, muscle activity and eye movements. These signals are recorded on a graph, which is then reviewed by a sleep medicine specialist.

This test is used to document the presence and severity of daytime sleepiness, as well as to detect sleep architecture abnormalities associated with narcolepsy.

In between naps it is very important that you stay awake and occupied between naps, so you are free to read, write letters, watch television, or have a visitor.

During the daytime hours you will sleep in a comfortable and quiet private room while data is collected through the application of electrodes. These are small metal discs that are applied with tape or a liquid, around the eyes, under the chin, and on the shoulders.

The electrodes and monitoring equipment are similar, but less extensive than those used in the all-night polysomnogram.

After the electrodes are applied, the technologist will ask you to lie down and sleep. The lights will be turned off when the technologist leaves the room and the recording will begin. Technologists and nurses are in continuous attendance to meet any comfort or medical needs that may arise.