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An EEG or electroencephalogram is a safe and painless procedure for recording the electrical activity produced by the brain. Patterns of the brain's electrical activity provide information about specific brain functions. This information is used to help identify a wide variety of neurological problems. The test usually takes 1 hour to perform. Part of this time is spent applying the electrodes to your scalp. The actual recording time varies but usually lasts about 30 minutes.

Special Instructions for your Sleep Deprived EEG

You are being scheduled for a Sleep Deprived EEG, you should have no more than two hours sleep the night before the test and should be awake from midnight until test time. Do not drink caffeinated beverages.

Prior to the Test:

  1. Shampoo your hair the night before the test. Please remove any hair extensions or additions. Do not use hair treatment products such as hair spray, conditioners, or hair dressing, nor should you fix your hair in tight braids or corn rows. This will help the technician apply the electrodes properly to your scalp.
  2. Avoid coffee, tea, sodas, and other drinks and food that contain caffeine. Unless you are instructed otherwise, you should eat normally.
  3. Continue to take any medication unless specifically instructed by your physician to discontinue. If you have a list of medications, please bring to your appointment.

During the Test:

  1. We ask that all family and friends, except those who need to translate for the patient, wait in the reception area during the test.
  2. The technician will then measure and mark the places on your scalp where the electrodes are to be applied. This is done with a special washable crayon.
  3. The technician will scrub each spot with a cleansing solution to ensure proper contact for the electrode, then they will be attached with a water-soluble paste.
  4. During the recording, you will be asked to lie down on an examination table. We will try to make you as comfortable as possible to help you relax.
  5. The technician will ask you to open and close your eyes several times during the recording. You might be asked to perform some special breathing and visual exercises that provide additional information.

After the Test:

Once the recording is completed, the technician will remove the electrodes and clean the paste from your scalp. A little residue might remain – the technician will try to remove as much of the paste as possible. The residue will not harm your scalp and will wash away with shampoo. You may resume normal activities immediately. Please call the clinic at 301-562-7200 if you have questions or need to reschedule. Please provide us with a minimum 24-hour notice as we have a late cancellation/no show fee of $150.