Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders Center

The Sleep Disorders Center provides a state-of-the-art program to monitor, evaluate and treat various sleep disorders in adults and children. Our staff includes board-certified sleep specialists, registered respiratory therapists, and polysomnographers who are technologists with specialized training in sleep studies.

At the Sleep Disorders Center, a sleep specialist will analyze the results from your sleep study and provide a preliminary report to you immediately following the test. If a sleep-related condition is diagnosed, the physician will recommend appropriate treatment and arrange for follow-up care. A full report is also sent to the referring physician.

A few of the sleep disorders that are treated at the center include:

  • Sleep apnea is a medical disorder in which a person, usually a loud snorer, experiences an obstruction in the throat during sleep. Lack of sufficient air causes the individual to awaken, usually with a cough or a gasp that opens the airway. Airflow is re-established and breathing resumes during the next episode. People with sleep apnea have to wake up briefly to breathe, sometimes hundreds of times during the night, although there is no memory of these brief awakenings.
  • Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome may coexist with obstructive sleep apnea. Multiple jerking movements, typically of the legs, awaken those with the disorder repeatedly through the night.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition involving sensations in the legs, and sometimes arms, while the individual is awake. The sensations usually occur when the individual is lying down and the only relief is to move the limbs, keeping the individual awake.
  • Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. Individuals with narcolepsy fall asleep at inappropriate, and occasionally, dangerous times.
  • Insomnia refers to a chronic inability to initiate or sustain sleep, resulting in sleep deprivation and daytime fatigue. There are numerous causes for insomnia, including stress, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, medications, poor sleep habits, and circadian rhythm disorders. Occasionally, a sleep study may be part of the evaluation, especially if obstructive sleep apnea is contributing. 
  • Other disorders the center treats are parasomnias, night terrors, sleepwalking, circadian rhythm disorders, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Portrait of a Sleep Disorder Sufferer

Sleep disorder sufferers may snore excessively, have restless body movements or exhibit unusual behaviors during sleep. Often they wake numerous times during the night, with a loud cough or gasp for air.

People with sleep disorders face the day exhausted and drained, often without recalling the previous night’s sleep disturbances. They may be unable to concentrate or have difficulty with daily activities. They may have headaches or sore throats in the morning. They may be irritable, or prone to forgetfulness and depression. They may suddenly fall asleep during the day at unexpected times when they are doing anything restful, like watching television, reading a book, or even driving.

Because the body needs sleep to restore itself so that it can function well, sleep disorders can severely affect the quality of life. Sleep problems not only affect daytime activity and personal productivity hey can also have serious accompanying medical concerns as well, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

At the Sleep Disorders Center, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your sleep habits and any sleep complaints you may have. A clinical evaluation is then scheduled with a physician who specializes in sleep disorders. If you are determined to be at risk for a sleep disorder, a sleep study (polysomnogram) may be ordered.

During a sleep study, you will spend the night under observation in private, comfortable surroundings. A skilled technologist monitors oxygen levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing, body movements, air flow, and brain waves, all of which indicate sleep quality. Daytime evaluations also are performed to evaluate daytime sleepiness.

The Sleep Disorders Center will also screen patients for obstructive sleep apnea prior to their scheduled surgery. This will help identify additional monitoring needed during and after the patient’s surgery.

Effective Treatment

There are a variety of effective and proven treatment methods available for sleep disorders, most of which are non-surgical.

If a sleep study detects a problem, the Sleep Disorders Center will contact you and your physician regarding further recommendations for treatment. A complete report of your evaluation will be sent to your primary physician.

The Next Step

If you believe you or your bed partner suffer from a sleep disorder, discuss your concerns with your primary care physician. For more information click here or to schedule a sleep study, please call 908-237-4080.

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