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Multiple Sleep Latency Test

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Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) at the Sleep Disorders Institute

Some sleep disorders affect people during the day, like narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is characterized by excessive daytime drowsiness with an increased tendency to fall asleep during daytime hours. For patients suspected to have narcolepsy – especially those ages 30 years and older – an overnight sleep study alone would not be as informative as nighttime testing combined with daytime assessment. That’s why your doctor may recommend you undergo a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) following nocturnal polysomnography at the Sleep Disorders Institute.

The MSLT can also be used to check the severity of disorders, like sleep apnea, and your response to specific forms of treatment.

How an MSLT Works

During an MSLT, you will be hooked up to sensors, which monitor when you fall asleep and what stage of sleep you are in. The sleep disorders test typically lasts most of the day with four or five scheduled nap periods. For each nap period, you’ll lie down in a quiet, dark room. The results of the test will consider if you’re able to fall asleep, how quickly you fell asleep and which stage(s) of sleep you entered.

If you have several rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep episodes during the test, it may be indicative of narcolepsy.

What to Expect the Day of an MSLT

When you have an MSLT done at the Sleep Disorders Institute, you will be allowed to walk around the building’s public areas. The sensors will remain attached the entire time. It’s recommended to bring a laptop or book with you to keep yourself occupied in-between test periods. You’ll also have access to free Wi-Fi and the public television for additional entertainment.

You may be asked to avoid caffeine and alcohol and to arrive on time. There is a $100 fee for any late cancellations and missed appointments.

About the Sleep Disorders Institute

The Sleep Disorders Institute, where your MSLT will be conducted, is a full-service sleep disorders program. It’s part of the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, so you can feel confident that you’re in the hands of highly experienced, leading sleep specialists.

After the MSLT is over, the sleep technician will record your results and send them off for analysis. Once the results have been interpreted, your doctor will be able to determine whether or not you have narcolepsy or another sleep disorder, or if further testing is required. Contact the Sleep Disorders Institute at RUMC for additional questions.