URMC Neurology Patient Care

Clinical Services - Preparation for an EEG

The most important part of preparation for your EEG is sleep deprivation. You should get less than half your normal sleep the night before the test because we record a portion of your EEG during natural sleep. Some patients must stay awake all night. Do not sleep during the ride to the hospital.

If you are scheduled for a carotid baseline, you may have a full night's sleep.

We do NOT administer sedation.

In addition, you should:

  • Plan on two hours for the EEG.
  • Wash your hair either the night before or the morning of the EEG. Do not use grease, hair spray, oils or conditioners.
  • Eat a normal meal at your usual mealtime before the test. Avoid caffeine, coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and alcohol for 24 hours prior to the test.
  • Take your daily medications as prescribed by your physician.
  • Do not drive to your EEG. Bring someone who can drive you home. It is unsafe for you to drive a vehicle for several hours before and after the test because you will be sleep deprived. If you take public transportation you should not travel alone.
  • Please do not bring children. If your child is having the test, do not bring other children. We do not have facilities for unattended children.

Special Instructions for Parents

  • Do not give your child a bottle or nurse your child until immediately before their EEG, to help them fall asleep for the test.
  • Please do not bring other children. We do not have facilities for unattended children.