Your doctor has ordered a sleep-deprived EEG for you. This EEG test is done when you have had less sleep than usual. An EEG records electrical activity of the brain. The EEG is not painful, and you should feel no ill effects from it. The test will take about an hour and a half and you will be able to leave right away after the test.

When you are tired, there is more chance that there will be unusual electrical activity in your brain. The sleep deprived EEG helps your doctor detect a neurological problem.

Your doctor may ask you to have this test if you have had a standard EEG test, but it didn’t show any unusual electrical activity.

If you have any questions about the test, please be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

What to Do

  • Stay awake from midnight until the time of your EEG.

  • Your hair MUST be clean. Wash it the night before or the morning of your test. Do not apply conditioners, gels, or sprays. You may eat and drink as usual, but do not drink any caffeine after midnight before the test (coffee, tea, cola, etc.).

  • If you are on medicine, please, take your medicine as usual.

  • Have someone drive you to the hospital and home as you will be very sleepy after the test.

Arriving for the EEG

  • The main desk can direct you.

  • Your EEG is in the EEG lab, J module/ 2nd floor 

  • Please register 15 minutes ahead of time. Registration is on the main floor as you make your way on ‘Main Street’ to the EEG lab in the J module. Follow ‘Main Street’ towards the J module and Registration will be on your right-hand side. Then, continue right on ‘Main Street’ through the H elevator lobby to the J lobby. Please check in at the EEG desk. 

The Procedure

A technologist will place very small metal discs on your scalp using special glue. A gel (salt jelly) will be put in each disc. This gel allows us to pick up your brainwaves. Once the test begins, it is important that you relax. Though you will be sleeping during a portion of the test, you may also be shown a flashing light. You may be asked to breathe deeply for a short time. At the end of the test, the metal discs and glue will be removed. The staff will explain how to remove any glue that may remain in your hair.


The final report of your EEG will be sent to your referring or primary care doctor within a few days. He or she will discuss the results of the test with you and recommend treatment, if needed.

Phone Numbers

If you have any questions or need to change the date or time of the test, please call the EEG lab at (608) 263-8483 or 1-800-323-8942 and ask for the EEG lab.