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What Is An Electroencephalogram (EEG)?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain.  It is a painless test used to diagnose seizure disorders, such as epilepsy.

man with one eye open in bed, humorous

When you arrive for your EEG, a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) or Registered  Respiratory Therapist (RRT) will be at the site to greet you and show you to your room. After you make yourself comfortable, your technologist will take a brief history, explain the study process, and answer any questions you may have. The next step is to apply the sensors, which is painless and takes about 40 minutes.

What To Expect

Getting Ready

First, the technologist will use stickers to affix leads on your chest and abdomen. 

Next, your head will be marked and measured with a paper ruler and a grease pencil.  This is done because each electrode needs to be placed in a precise location in order to accurately measure your brain waves. Once this is complete, a skin prep jelly will be applied to clean your scalp for the electrodes. This jelly removes any excess oils or skin cells in order to obtain a clear reading of your brain waves.

Lastly, the electrodes are placed on the surface of your scalp with a small amount of paste.  The prep, paste, and tape are hypoallergenic.

Testing

After all the sensors are applied and checked, the technologist will do a series of tests to obtain a baseline of your brain activity. These tests may include fast, shallow breathing (hyperventilation), as well as strobe light testing (photic stimulation).  When these tests are done, you’ll be asked to lie still with your eyes closed and try to fall asleep. 

Your technologist will monitor your testing throughout the study and will be available to answer questions and ensure you’re comfortable.

 

All Done, Now What?

Once your study is complete, the technologist will remove the electrodes and leads. Any remaining paste or marks can be easily washed out using warm water and shampoo.

At your follow-up appointment, you will receive your EEG results and discuss them with your provider.

Preparing For Your Sleep Test

Sleep Insights offers a relaxing environment with private, hotel-like rooms and at certain locations, a shower may be available.
If you have any questions please contact us, call our Rochester office (585) 385.6070 or your local site.

  • Set Time Aside

    Plan to be at our sleep center for approximately 2-3 hours.

  • Wash and Dry Your Hair

    Wash your dry hair thoroughly but do not use conditioners or other hair products.

  • Hair Accessories

    Remove any hair weaves or extensions. We cannot do testing if you have either of these.

  • What Should I Wear?

    Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to relax in throughout the duration of your test.

  • Medications

    Bring – and take – all of your normally scheduled medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor or the staff at Sleep Insights.

  • Special Requirements and Guests

    Notify us of any special needs prior to your arrival.  If you are supervising a child or older patient who is having a sleep test, we have rooms equipped with an additional bed.  Please let us know in advance if you need special accommodations.

    Guests are not permitted to stay in the room without prior permission.

  • Smoking

    Smoking, vaping and the use of alcohol are not permitted in the building or on the premises at any time.

  • No-Show

    Cancellations must be made by at least 12 noon the day before your study, or if your study is on a Saturday or Sunday, by noon on the Friday before. 

    Failure to show up for your scheduled test will result in a $100.00 no-show charge.