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Patient Resources

Printable EEG Test instruction Sheet


An electroencephalogram (EEG) helps analyze brain wave function. Electrodes/probes are placed on the scalp to record the brain’s electrical impulses.  


How do I prepare for EEG  (Electro-EncephaloGram)? 


• Discuss any medicines you are taking with your doctor before your procedure. 

• Continue to take any anticonvulsant medications you have been prescribed 

(unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise). 

• Wash your hair the night before the test. 

• Do not use hair cream, oils, or spray. 

• No caffeinated drink or chocolate at least two hours before the test. 


What happens during the EEG? 


  • You lay down on the examining table or bed while about 31 to 35 electrodes are attached to your scalp and around your face first with mild-abrasive fluid (NuPrep) and then hypo-allergic sticky conductive paste (Ten20)

  • The paste is water washable; you may need to wash your hair after the test. 

  • Please bring a hat, bandana, or anything to cover your head; the scalp will feel sticky. 

  • Relax and lay first with your eyes open, then closed. 

  • The technologist may ask to breathe deeply and rapidly, and a white strobe lamp will be flashed at 1 Hz to 60 Hz at a predetermined interval. Both of these activities produce changes in brain-wave patterns. 

  • EEG procedure is a video procedure. We will record the video during the test to better interpret brain waves and correlate brain activity with physical movements. 


Routine EEG instructions 


  • Washed and cleaned hair. 

  • No makeup. 

  • No coffee, tea, or chocolates at least two hours before. 

  • Please keep the electronic device in silent mode. 

  • Relaxation and sleep for the optimum test result, so please do not bring young kids, if possible. 

  • If you are taking medications, continue all medicines as required. 


Sleep-Deprived EEG instructions                                  (For Patients above Age 10)


Sleep deprivation (not having enough sleep) and coming in a sleepy state during the test are essential in helping us gain as much information as possible from the EEG.


  • Follow all of the above instructions for routine EEG Do not sleep for at least 24 hours before the test.         

  • Arrange to have somebody drive you to and from the test center. 


For Pediatric ( from 0 to 6 years) and developmentally delayed patients EEG


There can be anxiety and emotions in both kids and parents if they are presenting for the test for the first time. With the help and cooperation from parents, we can get through the test, which is easier than it sounds.


You can bring anything, for example, an iPad or cell phone to watch videos and play games, blankets, toys, and pacifiers.

Mother can feed her baby during the test, including breastfeeding. Please remember that we record video during the test and will continue recording while breastfeeding.


Instructions for All Children


  • Do NOT give any sedatives (sleeping medicine) within 24 hours of the test.

  • Continue giving all other medicines (unless otherwise advised by your child’s doctor or nurse).

  • Do not give your child caffeine or sugar (including sodas, chocolate, or candy) within 2 hours of the test.

  • Before arriving for the test, wash and dry your child’s hair. Do not use styling gels, oils, or other products.

  • Try to keep your child awake on the way to the clinic.

Duration of sleep loss in the pediatric Sleep Deprived EEG.


Nap-Deprived EEG (Age 3 and younger)


  • On the night before your appointment, keep your child up one hour past regular bedtime, and wake your child (and avoid naps) three to four hours before your appointment.


Sleep-Deprived EEG (Age 4 to 9 years)


On the night before your appointment, keep your child up one hour past regular bedtime, and have your child sleep four to five fewer hours than usual.

Special thanks to Epilepsy Toronto

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