Sleep Studies Part 3: Maintenance Of Wakefulness Test

sleep1Sleep studies aren’t only performed at night. The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) is given during the day to determine what is causing a person’s daytime sleepiness. The MWT is also often required for certain safety-related jobs that require long hours of wakefulness.

Read on to learn more from your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart, as he continues with the final installment of a three part series on sleep studies.

What Exactly Is A Sleep Study?

When thinking of a sleep study, most of you probably think of an overnight study that measures how well you sleep. That’s because those are probably the most common. However, there are sleep studies that take place during the day to measure how well you stay awake, such as the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test. This test measures your ability to stay away in a dark, quiet room with no stimulation. It is used to diagnose daytime drowsiness, and for jobs that require a person to stay awake for more than the usual number of hours.

During a MWT

Maintenance of Wakefulness tests are usually given the day after a polysomnogram and last most of the day. Sensors are placed on your face, chin, and scalp. The person is in a sitting position during the test, either in a chair or on a bed with their back and head supported. The test room is dark and quiet and you are required to stare straight ahead and try to stay awake for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.  During the test you are not allowed to use any extreme measures to stay awake. If you fall asleep you will be woken up after about 90 seconds. The test is repeated several times with 2 hour breaks in between. During the breaks you are allowed to read, watch TV, do crosswords, etc. The MWT can be used to diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work sleep disorder.

About Dr. Stewart

James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If you think you or a loved one is dealing with a sleep disorder, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment. At Dental sleep Medicine of Michigan, we are committed to forming trusting relationships with our patients so we can work together to achieve sound treatment and a future full of restful nights.