At The Sleep Center, we diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders including:
- Snoring: Snoring is very common, and for the most part, there are no serious medical consequences. However, habitual snoring may be an indication of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disorder.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that is typically accompanied by loud snoring. An individual with apnea stops breathing for brief periods during the night. Individuals must wake up briefly to breathe, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Usually there is no memory of these brief awakenings. There are two major types of apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of apnea and is caused by an obstruction in the throat that results in loud snoring and up to 60 seconds of stopped breathing several times during the night. Obstructive apnea is typically seen in individuals who are overweight or drink alcohol before sleep.
- Central sleep apnea is caused by a delay in the signal from the brain that tells the body to keep breathing during sleep.
- Insomnia: Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Many factors can contribute to insomnia, including stress, stimulants taken near bedtime (e.g., caffeine, nicotine), environmental factors, shift work, medications, and illness. Insomnia can affect people of all ages and can last from a few days or weeks to months or even years.
- Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia: Narcolepsy is defined as undesirable sleepiness at inappropriate times. This disorder may include one or a combination of the following symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, a brief loss of muscle control, sleep paralysis, or hallucinations or vivid dreamlike experiences that occur during drowsy episodes. The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown.
- Parasomnias: Parasomnias refer to a wide variety of disruptive sleep-related events, such as confusional arousals, night terrors, teeth grinding, sleepwalking, and sleep talking, among others. Although usually infrequent and mild, these events may occur often enough to require medical attention.
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder: People experiencing twitching in the legs or arms during the night suffer from periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). These muscle jerks may occur as often as once or twice each minute, but seldom wakes the sleeper. However, it interferes with sound sleep and many people suffering from PLMD may also suffer from insomnia and feel excessively tired during the day.
Diagnosis of any sleep disorder begins with the recognition of the possibility of a disorder by an individual, a bed partner, or health professional. For some disorders such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome, a detailed patient history and a sleep diary may reveal the problem. For other disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy, the disorder must be confirmed by a sleep study or a polysomnogram.
A polysomnogram is an overnight test that records a patient’s sleep pattern, breathing, oxygen level, heart rate and rhythm, and muscle tone while they sleep in a private, comfortable room at our Sleep Center. On the night of the study, the patient arrives at 9:00 p.m. and is escorted to a room that includes a bathroom, shower, and cable television. Once the patient has settled in, the technologist connects the patient to the monitoring equipment using adhesive pads. No needles or other invasive methods are used. In most cases, the patient is able to leave early the next morning after enjoying our complimentary breakfast. For certain conditions, the sleep study is followed the next day by a multiple sleep latency test, which is similar to an overnight sleep study but consists of brief naps.
Findings from the sleep study will be sent to your physician and a personalized treatment plan will be created to improve the quality of your sleep.
There are a variety of treatments available depending on the type of sleep disorder. Sleep apnea may be treated by surgery, wearing a dental appliance, reducing weight, wearing a breathing device called a nasal CPAP, or any combination of those therapies. Narcolepsy and PLMD are treated with medications. Insomnia is treated primarily by behavior modification and re-learning effective sleep habits.
Most insurance companies and managed care plans cover the cost of evaluating, testing, and treating sleep disorders. We participate with most major health insurance companies and our staff is happy to assist you and your doctor with obtaining the necessary pre-authorizations from your health plan. Individual payment plans can be arranged in certain circumstances. Please don’t let costs keep you from getting the rest you need. We are here to help.