How to Prepare for an EEG

The purpose of having an EEG (Electroencephalogram) done is to give your doctor information about your brain activity and the behavior that accompanies it.

A technologist will ask you questions about your medical history, then measure your head and apply a number of wires to the surface of your scalp based on these measurements. The wires will then be used to record both the electrical activity of your brain and videotape your behavior using special equipment.

Most patients will be asked to perform what are known as “activation procedures”; these include having a light flashed in their eyes (photic stimulation), and over breathing (hyperventilation). Taking a short nap during the recording period will also be strongly encouraged.

The technologist performing your test will give you specific instructions during the course of the test, and answer questions that you might have to the best of their ability. They will also do all they can to keep you comfortable, and will balance that with the need to keep you safe and obtain a high-quality test for your physician to interpret.

Your hair should be clean and dry so the recording wires can be sufficiently attached to guarantee accurate readings. Anything that would be placed in the hair such as plastic beads, hair gels, hair sprays, tight braids, extensions, etc., should be avoided, again to guarantee the wires can be adequately attached in a timely fashion.


Unless otherwise instructed you should take prescribed medications as you would normally. Generally you may follow your normal meal/snack schedule, but because taking a short nap is strongly encouraged try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages.

Your physician will give you any specific instructions that you might need for the test.


During the EEG monitoring procedure, we require that a parent, guardian or responsible adult be present during the entire procedure for pediatric and vulnerable adult patients.

Prep Checklist

  • Clean and dry hair with no products
  • Take prescribed medications unless otherwise instructed
  • No caffeinated beverages prior to test
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Call us if you have any questions 651.241.5290