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What are daytime sleep studies and why do I need one?


There are two different types of daytime sleep studies, the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and the maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT).  The MSLT consists of four or five nap opportunities, depending upon the results of the test, which occur throughout the day.  The purpose of the MSLT is to determine how sleepy you are by examining your brain activity.  The MWT also consists of four daytime tests, but the purpose of the MWT is to determine how well someone is able to stay awake.  There is always a night of sleep testing performed prior to the daytime MSLT, but the MWT may be performed without this previous night of testing.  The MSLT may be ordered when a patient is extremely sleepy during the day without any known cause or when there is a suspicion of narcolepsy, a disorder of excessive daytime sleepiness.  It is well known that persons with narcolepsy have specific patterns of sleep during the MSLT.  The MWT is performed to determine how well someone is able to stay awake during the day.

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I feel sleepy and drowsy during quiet activities