Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) - Preparing for the MSLT

A variety of factors can affect the results of your MSLT. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Age
  • Caffeine
  • Drugs and medications
  • Amount of sleep prior to the study

For this reason, the board certified sleep physician may recommend the following before your MSLT:

  1. Keep a sleep diary for two weeks. This will allow the doctor to see your sleep-wake patterns. This may help the physician identify other factors that may be causing daytime sleepiness. It will also help to ensure that you are allowing an adequate amount of time for sleep.
  2. Discuss the use of stimulants including caffeine with your sleep physician prior to your MSLT. If you are on any medications, your board-certified sleep physician will help you to determine when you can use your medications before the MSLT. These substances can alter the results of your MSLT.
  3. The night before your MSLT you will have an overnight sleep study. For the MSLT to be accurate, you will need to sleep at least six hours during the overnight sleep study. An overnight sleep study will be used to determine if another sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea is causing your excessive daytime sleepiness.
  4. You may be required to take a drug test the morning of the MSLT. The drug test is to ensure that the MSLT will be accurate. There are a number of drugs that can affect the results of the sleep study. The results of the drug test will be kept private between you and the physician.

Once you have finished these steps, you will be prepared for the MSLT.

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