Sleep Centre

About your Sleep Study

What is a sleep study?

A sleep study (polysomnogram) monitors a range of functions during sleep including oxygen levels, breathing, brainwave activity, eye and leg movements and heart rate. A thorough understanding of a patient’s sleep is achieved through the continuous recording and monitoring of these functions, thereby allowing precise diagnosis of sleep disorders. 

Small sensors are applied to the skin of your scalp, chest, finger and legs, enabling precise monitoring of your sleep.

How do I organise a sleep study?

A referral is required from either your General Practitioner (GP) or your specialist. You can download a referral form here.

The referral can be sent to us via email or fax (08) 8331 7152.

Once your referral has been received, we’ll contact you to organise an appointment or sleep study.  

Preparing for your sleep study

  • Try to follow your normal sleeping pattern in the few days preceding your study.
  • On the night of your study, please ensure your hair is clean and thoroughly free of any hair oils, creams, conditions, hairspray and gels.
  • Please have your evening meal prior to admission as only a light supper is provided.
  • Consume your usual amount of caffeine and alcohol (please don't exceed your 'normal' intake as this may alter your results).
  • Have a shower and remember not to apply conditioners, hair sprays, oils, or gels to your hair as this can affect the quality of the sensors’ signals.
  • Female patients, please remove nail polish and make-up (acrylic nails may be left on).
  • Male patients, the quality of the recording will improve if you shave before you leave home for your study. Bearded men – you DO NOT need to shave off your beard.

What should I bring to the Sleep Study?

  • Your private health insurance details, Medicare and other relevant cards.
  • Any medications you would normally take at night or first thing in the morning.
  • Suitable night attire.
  • Toiletries including soap, shampoo, and where applicable, shaving items.
  • Any alcohol you would normally consume before retiring.
  • Your own pillow.
  • Something to read or work on while your study is being prepared, if desired.
  • If you are already using CPAP or BiLevel, please bring all your equipment.
  • A change of clothes for the morning, if required.

What to expect during your Sleep Study

We ask that you arrive at 7:30pm and present to the Patient Service Counter in the front foyer of Burnside Hospital. Following completion of your admission details, a Sleep Technician will accompany you to your room and explain the initial setup, overnight procedures and answer any questions you may have.

A technician will apply the sensors soon after your arrival. This is so our equipment can be tested accurately and allows the signal quality to be assessed. You will not be required to go to sleep at this time, as we try to adhere to your regular bedtime as much as possible.

What happens after the study?

Your sleep study ends at approximately 6:15am.  An en suite bathroom is provided for your convenience and a light breakfast is served at 7:00am. Discharge is at 7:30am. Please inform the technician if you need to depart earlier. 

The results of the study will be sent to your Sleep Physician, who will discuss them with you at your follow up appointment.

How much will a sleep study cost?

There is an accommodation fee and a procedure fee charged for each sleep study.

Accommodation Fee

The accommodation fee is fully covered by your private heath fund if you have TOP hospital cover. 

We advise you to contact your health fund prior to admission to determine your level of cover.


To ascertain your level of cover you may need to quote the item numbers as below:

Diagnostic Sleep Study             12203

Rhinomanometry                       11503

CPAP trial or re-titration            12203

MSLT / MWT                             11003

The Burnside Hospital Accounts Department will also confirm with you any health fund excess payable by you and a letter will be forwarded to you with the details.  If you have any queries concerning the accommodation fee, please telephone (08) 8202 7222.

If you have an “excess” to pay this must be paid to the Burnside Hospital prior to or on admission. You can pay your invoice online here (link to bill payment section).


Procedure Fee

A procedure fee is payable to the specialist who interprets your sleep study results.

Your specialist will forward this direct to your Health Fund and in due course, you will be advised of the amount paid on your behalf for this service.

What if I can’t fall asleep?

Most people sleep quite well. Each bedroom has been designed for maximum comfort and is individually climate controlled and equipped with private en suite, soundproofing, a king-single bed and television. 

While most people sleep quite well, we accept that it may not be of the same quality as at home.

What if I have to go to the bathroom?

All sensors are attached to one device, which is easily unplugged by the technician and carried with you if you need to use the bathroom during the night. 

Are Sleep Studies painful?

The test is non-invasive and not painful. Small sensors are applied to the skin of your scalp, face, chest, finger and legs and are kept in place with tape and paste. The sensors should not cause any major discomfort, although rubbing of the skin to attach them may cause mild, temporary irritation.

You may feel a warm sensation where the oxygen-measuring device contacts your skin.

The sensors are applied so that you can turn and move as needed for optimal comfort. Generally, you will not be aware that you are wearing the sensors after they are on for a short period of time. 

How will I receive my results?

The Sleep Technologist cannot discuss any results with you. In most cases a follow up appointment with your Sleep Physician will be organised when your sleep study booking is made.

At this follow up, the results of your sleep study will be discussed, along with any recommendations for further investigation or treatment required.

If you do not have a follow up arranged with a Sleep Physician, please contact the Sleep Centre on (08) 8202 7272 or 

What if I need to cancel the study?

If you need to cancel or postpone your sleep study, you must notify the Burnside Sleep Centre at least 24 hours prior. This allows us sufficient time to offer your booking to another patient, helping to reduce waiting times.

Please contact the centre on (08) 8202 7272 so your appointment can be rescheduled. 

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner before proceeding with any procedure.