By: Tracy Piner

What happens if you can’t sleep during a sleep test?

If your doctor has prescribed a sleep test for you, either in a sleep lab or with an at-home test in your own home, you’re most likely thinking about how difficult it’s going to be to fall asleep. This is a common concern among people scheduled for a test—I know it was my biggest worry when I did a home sleep test. I already have trouble sleeping at night, so the thought of having a bunch of wires hooked up to me gave me a lot of anxiety.

Surprisingly, like most people, I did sleep during the test. Granted, it wasn’t the best night’s sleep of my life, but I slept long enough to feel rested and for my doctor to get the data she was looking for.

Sleep lab test

If you’re doing the test in a sleep lab, you may be picturing a sterile, hospital-like bedroom, which isn’t the case. Most sleep labs have the room set up like a hotel room, and they will allow you to bring some items from home to help you relax—a book, your favorite pillow, etc.

However, if you try the sleep test in a sleep lab and don’t sleep long enough for the technician to collect sufficient data, they may ask you to try the at-home test or request you schedule another sleep test.


The best recommendation for how to get through the sleep test is to try and relax. That is often easier said than done, but it will make the process easier and you’ll sleep a lot better!

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

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