Sleep disorders centre ward

Caring for people with sleep disorders

Visitor information

Visitors are not allowed to the centre.

If you need a carer to stay with you, or have any special requirements during your stay, please contact us.

When you arrive

When you arrive one of our sleep technicians will meet you. There are 10 beds.

They'll show you to your own room with:

  • en-suite bathroom
  • adjustable bed
  • TV with freeview channels
  • wi-fi (select ‘NHS WiFi’. There’s no password)
  • a locker for medicines

We'll ask you to change into your nightwear straight away.

Preparing for your tests

The tests you may have include:

  • polysomnography (PSG)
  • respiratory study, sensors are applied to your body and connect to a portable device called a head box

These both involve attaching sensors to your body to give us information while you sleep.

We'll apply any necessary equipment to your skin or over your nightclothes between 5.30pm and 8.30pm. You can ask for a chaperone.

A chaperone is a fully trained member of staff who can:

  • explain to you what the procedure involves and why it is necessary
  • provide psychological support and reassurance throughout the procedure
  • help protect your dignity by attaching equipment to you or prepping your skin 

Do not use moisturiser on your body or face. Your nails must be completely natural and not have any polish or gel.

If you’re having a PSG, please remove all makeup, hats, headscarves, wigs and weaves. Your hair should be clean and dry. If you have short stubble on your face, we will ask you to shave but you do not need to remove your beard.

You'll be able to move around and eat and drink normally once the equipment is attached.


Hot drinks are available at all times. They are free for patients.

Breakfast is provided in the morning. The time breakfast is served depends on the sleep tests taking place.

If you are staying during the day after your overnight study lunch will be provided.

If you have any dietary needs, please tell us as early as possible during your stay. 

Using your mobile phone

You can use your mobile phone in the centre. It must be turned off during your sleep investigation.

When you are ready to sleep

Please tell us when you are ready to sleep. We encourage you to fall asleep before 11.30pm, unless otherwise agreed by your sleep doctor.

You can sleep in any position you like.

There is a camera and microphone in your room. These provide information about your sleeping position and any snoring or other audible data during the study.

These are not active until the study begins.

During the night

At least 3 sleep technicians or nurses will be present throughout the night.

You can use your call button if you would like to speak to a member of the team and can’t leave your bedroom. You can call if:

  • there is a noise that is disturbing you
  • you need to use the bathroom or get out of bed
  • you are feeling too hot or too cold
  • you are feeling unwell

If any equipment falls off in the night, a member of staff might come into your room to reattach it.

After your overnight sleep study

We'll wake you between 6am and 7am unless we've told you otherwise or you wake up naturally.

We'll remove all the equipment. You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire about your overnight sleep. A light breakfast will be available and you can have a shower before you leave if you'd like.

Staying during the day for more tests

We'll wake you between 6.30am and 7am, unless we've told you otherwise specified or you wake up naturally. We'll remove some of the equipment.

You can have breakfast before 8am.

You'll also be asked for a sample of your pee (urine) because some medicines can affect the results of the study.

Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT)

Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) assesses daytime sleepiness.

You'll be asked to try and fall asleep 4 or 5 times throughout the day at 2-hour intervals. You'll be given 20 minutes to fall asleep and can sleep for 15 minutes before being woken.

To help us get accurate results, please:

  • do not drink or eat anything containing caffeine
  • do not fall asleep between naps
  • do not smoke or eat anything for 40 minutes before each nap
  • speak to one of the technologists if you want to leave the department between naps. You must return 30 minutes before your next nap is due

Maintenance of wakefulness (MWT)

This test assesses your ability to stay awake. Unless otherwise agreed, you will be asked to stay awake all day.

The tests will run 4 times throughout the day at 2-hour intervals.

During these tests, you will have to stay awake for 40 minutes while sitting upright in a dimly lit room with no distractions, such as your phone or TV.

To help us get accurate results, please:

  • do not drink or eat anything containing caffeine
  • do not fall asleep between tests
  • do not smoke or eat anything for 40 minutes before each test
  • speak to one of the technologists if you want to leave the department between tests. You must return 30 minutes before your next test is due

Follow-up appointment

Our sleep technology team will look at your results and send a report to your consultant.

Your consultant will interpret these results and plan your treatment.

You should be offered a follow-up appointment after your inpatient stay if this was agreed at your first consultation.

If you were told that you would have a follow-up appointment and you have not heard from us for 3 weeks or more, please contact the sleep disorders centre.

Contact us

Phone: 020 7188 8228

How to find us

Address: Guy's Hospital, Nuffield House, 3rd floor, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT


We are not based in Guy’s Hospital main building.

From London Bridge Station, make your way to Thomas Street. Enter Great Maze Pond. Turn right onto Collingwood Street. Turn left, walking through the garden area. Nuffield House entrance is on the right, before reaching the gates at the end of the road.

Last updated: March 2023

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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