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Maintenance of Wakefulness Test

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Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT)

If you regularly feel drowsy and/or have trouble staying awake during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. At the Sleep Disorders Institute at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), we offer a full range of sleep study tests, including the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT). Instead of monitoring your sleep, this test evaluates whether or not you’re able to stay awake during periodic trials.

What Is a MWT?

To determine your alertness during the day, your doctor may order a MWT. During this test, you’ll be challenged to remain awake in an environment that’s conducive to sleep. Throughout the day, you’ll undergo four to five test sessions where you’ll lie on your back in a quiet, darkened room. For the duration of each trial, you’ll be asked to refrain from stimulating tasks, such as talking, singing or reading.

The MWT is often used to determine how well an individual with a sleep disorder is responding to a treatment. MWTs may also be performed to document a person’s ability to remain awake at critical times, including at work and while driving.

Getting Ready for Your MWT

Before you arrive at the Sleep Disorders Institute at RUMC, consider packing a laptop, books, magazines or other tasks to keep yourself occupied between trials. Throughout the day, you’ll be permitted to walk around the Institute’s public area and make use of the free Wi-Fi and public TVs. Just note: the recording sensors will need to be attached at all times.

On the day of your MWT, make sure to clean your skin and hair, and avoid using oil, gel or conditioner. Beforehand, consult with your physician to discuss medications you should and should not take on the day of the study. Please do not drink coffee or caffeinated food or beverages before the test, as doing so can affect the results.

MWT at the Sleep Disorders Institute at RUMCFor more information regarding the MWT, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or contact your physician at the Sleep Disorders Institute at RUMC.