Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the Sleep and Apnea Assessment Unit?

Use the Victoria Hospital, Baseline Road entrance to Zone E Level 1 Patient and Visitor Entrance between 7:30-8:00pm. Overnight parking is available in Parking Lot 7. A payment of $12 (credit card) is required and can be made as you exit the lot. If you are arriving late or have been called in to fill a cancellation after 8:30pm, you will be required to use the Commissioners Road entrance D tower, Level 3. Payment is the same.

View our Victoria Hospital map PDF for more information.

You will be screened at the entrance by one of our LHSC perimeter screeners for COVID-19. Please note if you fail screening, there may be a requirement to rebook your sleep study unless there are extenuating circumstances agreed upon by the physician and management.

The Sleep and Apnea Assessment Unit (SAAU) is located in Zone E Level 4 300 wing (right off of the elevator- E4 300). When you arrive for your nighttime study, please sanitize your hands and wait outside for one of the sleep technologists. There are stickers on the floor to ensure safe 2-meters physical distancing.

If you require assistance to get to the SAAU, please notify us in advance so we can plan for a porter to bring you in a wheelchair and ensure the start of your sleep study is not delayed.

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring all items you normally would require for an overnight stay. We do ask that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you keep items to what is minimally required:

  • Health card
  • Pajamas/Comfortable clothing
  • Toiletries (tooth brush, tooth paste, comb, brush, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • List of all current medications
  • Snacks and water: Please note due to COVID-19 protocols at LHSC, there is no access to appliances in the SAAU. Any items you bring in are kept in your room for the duration of your stay.
  • Book/reading material
  • CPAP mask and headgear ONLY (if applicable)
  • Tablet/Cell phone * Please Note: After 10:30pm, there is a requirement to turn off your devices due to potential interference with the operation of our machines.
  • NOTE: Hospital linen and pillows are provided along with face cloths for light freshening up. Due to COVID-19 protocols, our communal shower is not available for use.
Is there any special preparation needed?

You should eat a normal meal before coming to the lab.

To ensure the best results, please do not use moisturizers or lotions on your skin and ensure that your hair is clean, dry, and free of oils/gel on the day of your test. 

Note: LHSC is a scent-free organization, and thus we ask you refrain from utilizing any scented/fragrant products.

What happens during an Overnight Sleep Study?

During your sleep, the lab technologists will monitor your brain activity, leg muscle activity, chin muscle tone, eye movement, heart function, breathing patterns and blood oxygen saturation. Some optional testing may be done such as carbon dioxide levels. If requested by your physician, your sleep study may be video recorded to further assess your movement.

All monitoring is done by attaching small metal discs (electrodes) to the surface of the skin. In order to obtain the best results, electrodes need to be placed on a clean scalp. Please ensure your hair is clean, dry, and free of oils or gels on the day of your test. Please note that the electrode hook up process requires patients to remove their mask to ensure proper placement and set up. The technicians will be wearing a mask and face shield at all times. You are not required to wear a mask while sleeping/LHSC staff are not in the room, but some patients opt to do this.

You will be awakened at 6:00 am and the electrodes will be removed. Since they are applied with water soluble paste and tape, removal is quick and easy. You can expect to be discharged around 6:30 am. There is a cafeteria open at LHSC in D Zone, Level 3 should you require food/drink immediately following your study.        

The patient/visitor exit is also via E Zone Level 1 (the same location you entered). Perimeter screeners will direct you to the appropriate door to maintain physical distancing with incoming staff.     

If you require assistance to exit the lab, for your safety please notify us in advance so we can book a porter to assist you. The technologists are unable to leave the lab with patients in it, and the perimeter screeners are not trained to provide physical assistance.      

If you require assistance to get into your vehicle, please note porters are unable to provide this and you should plan accordingly with your driver. There are transportation companies available such as Voyago that we can provide information for if you request it in advance of your study.

What happens during a MSLT - Multiple Sleep Latency Test?

The doctor may also order sleep testing the day after your overnight study. This is called a multiple sleep latency test and consists of four chances to nap for 20-minutes at two-hour intervals. This test helps to document the extent of daytime sleepiness. If an MSLT is required, you will be notified when your overnight study is booked. You will be discharged at 3:00 pm.      

Due to the duration of this specific test, you are permitted a cooler/bag with food and beverage items to be kept in your room during your stay. Note that a light breakfast is provided to all patients, and the cafeteria in D Zone Level 3 is accessible for lunch. Lunch is not provided. Due to COVID-19 protocols, there is no access to shared appliances in the lab. If you have a special circumstance, please notify us at the time of booking.     

The patient/visitor exit is via E Zone, Level 1 (the same location you entered). Perimeter screeners will direct you to the appropriate door to maintain physical distancing with incoming staff. If you require assistance to exit the lab and get to your vehicle, for your safety please notify us in advance so we can book a porter to assist you. The technologists are unable to leave the lab with patients in it, and the perimeter screeners are not trained to provide physical assistance.

What if I have Special Needs?

Staff are sleep technologists and highly trained in the set-up and monitoring required during your study. They do not have additional training for complex, specialized needs. Please notify us in advance if you require the following*:

  • Wheelchair, mechanical lift, or assistance by more than 1 person
  • Oxygen
  • Tracheostomy
  • Catheters or any tube drainage device
  • Ostomy care
  • Translation services
  • Any other special needs

Notes: Specialty supplies for these special needs are not available in the SAAU. We ask that you bring them with you.      

*Visitor requests are reviewed on a patient by patient basis for special care needs, and if you have a special need requiring a caregiver please notify us in advance so a request can be submitted. Only 1 visitor is permitted per patient in these circumstances

Are meals provided?

We recommend that you eat a normal meal before coming to the test. We do not provide meals or snacks. Please bring your own snacks, but note that you will not have access to appliances including the refrigerator due to COVID-19 restrictions in place. We recommend dry snacks such as nuts, fruit, a granola bar, crackers, etc.     

There is a cafeteria in D Zone, Level 3 available to you in the morning immediately following your sleep study. Due to the nature of the equipment hooked up for your specialized study, you are unable to leave the lab once you have arrived so we recommend you plan accordingly if you require a snack in the evening.

What about my medications?

Patients are required to bring all their medications they normally take at night, along with a list of all their medications and their dosages. Unless otherwise stated, patients should continue to take all their medications as normal (including over the counter medications).

Note: Staff of the SAAU are technologists and are not able to administer/provide medications, it is strictly self-administration unless you have been approved for a visitor/caregiver. Let us know if you have special medication such as insulin that requires refrigeration.

When will I get my test results?

Your test result will be analyzed in the lab, and a written report will be sent to the Physician who referred you for the sleep study. This may take up to six weeks. The SAAU staff are unable to provide you with test results as the analysis takes time and results are not available immediately.      

We ask that you contact your referring physician should you have questions about your results.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?

We require 48 hours advance notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If this is not provided or if you miss your scheduled appointment, the Sleep Medicine Associates will bill you a $100 fee unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Monday to Friday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm)      
Booking Clerk  
Telephone: 519-667-6855


After hours and weekends     
Sleep and Apnea Assessment Unit      
Telephone: 519-685-8500 Extension. 75614

What is the lab doing to protect staff and patients from the threat of COVID-19?

SAAU staff are completing pre-screening 48 hours prior to appointments. The pre-screening is a comprehensive list of questions regarding symptoms, travel, and contacts. If a patient fails the screening, their sleep study will likely be rebooked in at least 14-days’ time, or when the individual has been 72 hours symptom-free. Patients are screened at the entrance to the hospital, and if they fail the sleep technologists will contact the ordering physician. Likely, the study will need to be re-booked as above. The lab was closed at the initial onset of the pandemic, and thus we are catching up on approximately 4-months of referrals. We make every effort to rebook your study as soon as possible, or place you on a cancellation list. At this time, everyone’s safety and well-being is our first priority.     

When you arrive to the lab, hand sanitizer is provided and there are stickers on the floor to ensure 2-meters physical distancing. You will be checked in individually starting at 8:00pm, and all equipment such as the scale used will be wiped down in between each patient. Patients are provided their own room with dedicated equipment, linen, and bathrooms. As mentioned in the FAQ’s, there is no access to common spaces, shared shower, or appliances in the SAAU.     

All employees of LHSC in patient care areas are wearing universal mask and eye protection. All patients are asked to wear masks upon entry and exit of the SAAU. Patients are permitted to remove their masks in their rooms for the duration of their stay. You will notice, depending upon the nature of your test and equipment used, that if a CPAP or BIPAP machine are utilized, you have a tracheostomy, or if you require a high amount oxygen, the staff will be wearing additional personal protective equipment including a gown, extended cuff gloves, and potentially an N95 mask based on the level of risk.     

When sleep studies are completed, patients are unhooked by the technologists and permitted to leave the sleep lab individually to ensure safe physical distancing can be met. Patients are asked to wear their masks upon exit of the lab and building.     

Rooms are cleaned by our cleaning company each morning after patient discharge. High touch points in the lab including handrails and door knobs are wiped down.     

All patients are asked to bring minimal personal items. We cannot approve certain items including fans, blow dryers, food requiring refrigeration or microwaves. If you have any questions about what to bring, please ask us in advance.     

We take pride in the safety of the SAAU and want to ensure our patients feel at ease for their study amidst the pandemic, to get the best possible results. Let us know how we are doing and if you have any other suggestions.