A Multiple Sleep Latency Test, or MSLT, is a test used to diagnose narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. It is administered in a lab setting and usually takes about four hours to complete. The test measures how long it takes for you to fall asleep during five scheduled naps throughout the day. You will also be asked to keep a sleep diary for two weeks before the test so your doctor can get an idea of your normal sleep patterns.
The MSLT is usually done after a sleep study, which is a test that measures your sleep quality and duration. During the sleep study, you will be asked to wear sensors on your head and body overnight so the doctors can track your brain waves, eye movements, and muscle activity. The results of the sleep study will help the doctor determine if you have narcolepsy or another sleep disorder.
The MSLT is an important tool in diagnosing narcolepsy, but it’s not the only test used. The doctor will also take into account your medical history and sleep habits. If you have narcolepsy, the doctor will likely prescribe medication to help you manage your symptoms. In addition, they may recommend lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and avoiding caffeine.
You will be asked to take five short naps, each lasting 20 minutes. These naps will be scheduled two hours apart. You will be asked to sleep in a private, dark, and quiet room during the test. A series of sensors will measure whether you are asleep and determine your sleep stage.
You may be asked to take additional naps if the first five naps don’t provide enough information. If this happens, the additional naps will be scheduled one hour apart.
After the MSLT is completed, you will be given a short questionnaire to assess your sleepiness, after completed you will be able to go about your day as usual. The results of the test will be analyzed by a sleep specialist and used to diagnose narcolepsy or another sleep disorder
Before you arrive for your Multiple Sleep Latency Test, there are a few things you can do to prepare
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Within two weeks, results will be shared with you in person, and the team will go over what they mean as well as any next steps. You will also be given a copy of the results to take home with you. In some cases, your MSLT may show that you do not have narcolepsy. If this is the case, the sleep team will work with you to determine the cause of your sleepiness.