Visitor Monitoring

Prepare for Your EEG Test

Routine EEG (electroencephalogram)

This painless test measures the electrical activity given off by your brain. The test involves pasting up to 27 small disc electrodes in various locations on your scalp. Recording times can take up to 2 hours. Clean up will be necessary after your test. We offer amenities to accommodate clean up with shampoo/conditioner, blow dryer, combs, and curling irons.

To prepare for an EEG, please do the following:

  • Eating is permitted prior to your EEG
  • Avoid any caffeine prior to your test
  • Continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor or advanced practice provider (we will ask you to list your medications prior to your EEG)
  • Please arrive with clean, dry hair
  • Do not use any hair styling products, including oils, prior to the test
  • Arrange for daycare of other siblings; other children besides the patient are not allowed in the room during EEG testing

Sleep-Deprived EEG

This test is similar to a regular EEG, as described above, except that you will be asked to achieve 4 fewer hours of normal sleep or as directed by your provider prior to your exam time. Do not eat or drink anything containing caffeine between midnight and the time of your test. A sleep-deprived EEG takes about 1-2 hours.

Ambulatory EEG

This test is similar to a regular EEG, as described above, except without video. You will complete your testing at home. Once your test is completed and equipment is returned, your neurologist will compare your brain waves to what is considered normal for your age.

Setup for the test takes approximately one hour and requires a technician pasting 25 small electrodes onto the surface of the scalp using a sticky, water-soluble paste. The wires are covered with netting and a bandana. The electrodes plug into a small recording unit called a headbox that is worn crossbody or in a small backpack. We ask you arrive in a shirt that either button downs or zips. Once wires are applied you will not be able to remove clothing over your head.

You will be given a diary at your appointment to help record descriptions of events at the times of any occurring spells. If you feel a symptom of an event (such as dizziness, light-headedness, faintness, seizures, shaking) you will be instructed to push the event marker and give a detailed description of the events. Diary entries should be made every hour indicating activities such as eating, taking medication, sleeping, watching TV, etc.

During the testing period:
You may do many quiet normal daily activities such as:

  • Play games, cards, crafts
  • Do homework, paperwork
  • Read, write
  • Watch TV or listen to music
  • Please take all medications as instructed by your physician

Please do not:

  • Take a bath or shower
  • Chew gum
  • Chew crunchy foods aside from during mealtimes
  • Engage in any physical activity that could cause you to sweat
  • Get the wires or equipment wet (water will damage the equipment)

All equipment including EEG headbox, event marker, carrying case or backpack, and completed diaries must be returned. Your tech will go over all instructions at the time of your appointment.