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Multisleep latency testing

What is a Multi-Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)?

An MSLT is a series of recordings that chart your brain wave patterns, eye movements, heart beat and muscle movement.   They are used to help the doctor to diagnose some types of sleep disorder.


How is it performed?

The test is painless.  Leads are attached to your head, chin, shoulders and  leg.  You will then be asked to lie down and try to sleep.  Whilst you try to sleep your brain activity is monitored on an EEG (electro-encephalogram) recorder.  After 20 minutes you will be asked to get up out of bed and stay awake until the next recording.   This process is repeated 4-5 times during the day. 

Between recordings you will be able to read, listen to music, watch a dvd or do some work.  Please feel free to  bring your own MP3 player, dvd’s or some paperwork/schoolwork if you wish.  It is important to stay awake between recordings.   


How do I prepare for the test?                                                                                                                                        

A sleep diary is enclosed; please fill it in for two weeks prior to the test and bring it with you on the day.

Please ensure your hair is clean and free from hairspray and oil. 

Please do not get up before 6:30 on the day of the test.

You must not drink any products containing caffeine, e.g. coffee, tea, coke or stimulant drinks (Red Bull) on the day of the test.

You must refrain from taking recreational drugs for one week prior to the test.

It is essential that you have had at least 6 hours sleep the night before.

If you are taking medication please continue to take it and bring a list of your medication with you (unless you have been advised differently by us).

Please wear loose fitting clothes, as this will assist with attaching the leads and you will be sleeping in the clothes you are wearing.

Continue to eat meals as normal.

A sandwich lunch will be provided but if you wish to bring your own lunch we have a fridge available to put it in.

There are no side effects from the test.


How long will I have to wait?

You have been given a specific appointment time and patients are usually seen on time.  It is important that you arrive on time.  Please allow plenty of time for parking.

These tests are very time consuming so it is really important that you confirm you attendance.  You will be in the department from 8:45am until approximately 4:30pm. 


When will I get the results?

The results are sent to the doctor that referred you for the test and are usually available within fourteen days.

If you have any concerns or questions please speak to a Clinical Physiologist on the number below.


Neurophysiology Department   01422 222976