What a Sleep Clinic is Really Like

Do you snore and have issues when sleeping? Panic attacks, insomnia, stop breathing while in bed? If so you may be thinking about talking to the Dr about a sleep clinic.

A few years back my partner told me I snored. He said it was so loud he could hear me in the next room. He also said I would stop breathing in my sleep. At the time we lived in Ontario so I told my Dr who I trusted and asked for advice. He referred me to a sleep clinic for an overnight study. i was on a waiting list for over a year. We actually were moving when they called to book me the appointment. Once settled here on the west, I mentioned it to many new dr. She referred me to what I thought would be an overnight study but was not.

I was sent home with a heart monitor and a machine that measured my oxygen. I was told to wear it for two nights then return it to the office. Results came back quick and there were no issues. A couple of years passed and my snoring did not improve. I know I need to lose weight and this is most likely the biggest issue. But I felt like the testing I had was not enough. So I went back to the Dr. This time she referred me to an overnight clinic.

Within a week they called me and had me booked for my initial consultation. They walked me through what to expect and had me fill out a questionnaire. They were really great about my concerns and when I told them I had anxiety, they gave me a tour of the facility. I was surprised to see the rooms were more like hotel rooms than hospital rooms. In my head I was picturing a surgery room with an observation gallery, similar to Grey’s Anatomy. In reality I was in a large furnished room with a door and big comfy bed. There were monitors and a camera but it ‘felt’ private.

I was told I would arrive at night and would ring a bell to be let in. There were rooms to accommodate 3 people a night. They said it would take about an hour to hook me up to the machines and lights out would be at 11pm. They said I would be woken up at around 6 am and could shower if I wanted. I decided to shower before going so I did not bring anything to wash up there. I needed to remove nil polish on two fingers so they could attach a monitor to my finger. The nail polish would reflect and cause the lasers to not get a good reading. I was also told to not wear makeup and have clean hair.

My overnight appointment was booked within a week of my initial visit. My follow up was just 2 weeks later to get the results. It was all covered with my provincial healthcare too. When I arrived i rang the bell and was let in but had to wait a bit to be hooked up as the technician was with another person. There was a child there for monitoring and they had a room for him and his parent to stay.

It took about an hour to be hooked up to all the monitors and wires. I then had an hour in my room to do as I wanted. there were no electronics in the room and I was told to limit my phone use. I read a magazine and went to the bathroom. When 11 arrived the tech came I and attached me to the main monitor. He turned off the lights and then left the room. A few minutes later he spoke to me through the speaker. Asked me to move my feet, blink my eyes and speak. This was to test the infrared camera and speaker. I had wires and sensors on my legs, sides, back, chest, face and scalp.

Then it was time to sleep. I am not one to sleep easy in strange places. Add in the fact I have 5 lbs of stuff attached to me it took a while to fall asleep. I had crazy dreams all night and had to get up to pee at one point. Being attached to the machine I had to wait for assistance to be removed. Falling back to sleep was difficult as well.

The next morning i was woken up at 6 and had the sensors removed. The ones on my legs had come off on their own. The ones on my face and head left behind glue that could only be removed with warm water and soap. Now i was wishing I brought my things to shower. Everyone was really nice and i was out of there by 7am.

I got home an showered and the glue all washed away. My results were ready pretty much instantly but my follow up was in 2 weeks. While I waited to her my results I overheard someone ahead of me get set up with a machine for sleeping. The clinic lent them one until their funding kicked in. They provided the information for funding and it only cost the man $25 a month. It sounded like it was through an insurance provider but I was impressed the full amount was not expected. My apt was delayed a bit but when I got in the Dr showed me the video from my session and the results.

He said I do not have apnea and I was not even snoring that night. He said losing weight would help with the snoring but from everything else I was healthy. He also said it was good to have this info in case I had issues in the future so we could reference my results.

The entire process took me less than a month from the time I got the referral from my Dr till I received the results. Pretty good!

I am happy I did not get any other results but also felt comfortable with all the information provided to me before and afterwards. My anxiety lets my mind wonder and I often worry about the unknown. I hope my post today gives you more info if you are looking at attending a sleep clinic.

If you have sleep related concerns be sure to talk to your Dr.

I would love to her if you have attended an overnight study before in the comments below.



  1. It was very interesting to compare your experience to mine. I’m in Ontario. From my initial appointment to my actual study was about 3 months. Then after the experience, it was another 2 months before I got my results. Way different! Our rooms look similar and I too was expecting a Grey’s Anatomy type place so my anxiety was glad to see it looked more like a hotel. I found that glue really hard to wash out though. I also had crazy dreams all night long. I’m glad you didn’t have sleep apnea, neither did I. I’m intrigued that you had that test before though that you brought home a heart and oxygen machine. Thank you for sharing, I’m sure your post will reassure someone else’s anxiety who needs to go to a sleep study.

  2. I have oftened wondered how these sleep studies worked, your post was very interesting and informative. Our son had one done a few years ago and they discovered he has severe sleep apnea. Unfortunately, he’s a younger man and is in a bit of denial. He really won’t talk much about his sleep apnea or the sleep study experience.

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