Did you know that between 50 million and 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder?
Sleep disorders can cause many sleep-related problems — from daytime sleepiness, to not being able to fall asleep, to having trouble breathing while sleeping. While some disorders are more of a nuisance, others can increase your risk of serious conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.
At Stormont Vail Health, we diagnose and treat patients who are suffering from many types of sleep disorders. As you receive care for your sleep disorder, we also recommend that you stay in touch with your primary care provider. Primary care providers offer many services — such as annual physical exams and immunizations — and take care of your entire body so that you stay healthy while getting treatment for your sleep disorder.
Conditions We Treat
Patients come to the Sleep Center for many types of sleep disorders. The most common disorders we see include:
Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is one of the most common causes of snoring. While you sleep, your airway becomes narrow. It causes you to periodically stop breathing, leading to snoring. It also makes your heart work harder to circulate blood. Over time, this can lead to serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
NarcolepsyThis disorder causes excessive daytime sleepiness. You may accidentally fall asleep in the middle of the day, even while doing an activity, such as eating or driving. Narcolepsy can also cause sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and paralysis — being unable to move — right before falling asleep or after waking up.
InsomniaInsomnia occurs when you have difficulty falling or staying asleep. If it happens at least 3 times a week, for more than 3 months, it is considered chronic insomnia. Insomnia can cause many symptoms, such as daytime sleepiness, changes in mood, low energy, or difficulty concentrating.
Periodic Limb MovementsThese are repetitive movements, such as muscle twitches or jerking movements, that occur every 20 to 40 seconds during sleep. Usually, they involve the lower limbs. Periodic limb movements may contribute to insomnia or daytime sleepiness, since they can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Restless Leg SyndromeIf you have restless leg syndrome, you feel discomfort in your legs while resting, and an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms often become more severe later in the night, which can make falling asleep difficult.
Idiopathic HypersomniaHypersomnia is a condition where you are constantly feeling sleepy, even when you have had enough sleep. You may sleep for 10 hours a night, take naps during the day, and still feel tired. It is called “idiopathic” because there is no known cause.
ParasomniaParasomnia refers to any abnormal things that you might do while you sleep. For example, you may experience sleepwalking, sleep paralysis (not being able to move right before falling asleep or after waking up), or compulsively eating and drinking while only partially awake.
Our Treatments and Services
When patients come to us with excessive sleepiness or trouble sleeping, the first step is diagnosing the exact disorder.
Sleep StudiesOne of the most common tests we perform is a sleep study. Sleep studies allow us to monitor what’s happening in your brain and body while you sleep.
During the test, you will be hooked up to monitors that record your sleep cycle patterns, disruptions to sleep, eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood, heartbeat and breathing rates, body movements and snoring. Everything is monitored through sensors — there are no needles or medications involved.
Most sleep studies are performed at our Sleep Center. These are called Attended Studies. You will be asked to arrive two hours before the start time in order to ensure enough time for set up and relaxation before going to bed.
Unattended studies, or home sleep studies, take place at your home. These are only for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, not other sleep disorders. We schedule patients to come to the Sleep Center to receive instructions to set up home sleep study.
Sleep studies can be used to diagnose many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, parasomnia, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. However, not everyone requires a sleep study — your physician may be able to diagnose you just based on your symptoms.
Sleep MonitoringActigraphs are small monitors that look like wrist watches, and record activity and sleep patterns. Unlike typical sleep studies, which only monitor activity for one night, the actigraphy method allows us to see activity over a period of several days, weeks, or months.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines use air pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep via a hose and mask or nosepiece. They are one of the most common treatments for breathing-related sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Patients who have problems with CPAP, or have sleeping problems despite using CPAP, can return to Stormont Vail for a follow-up appointment. If needed, they might return for a second sleep study.
In addition to getting you set up with your device, we offer compliance follow-up appointments to help you with any problems, such as a mask that doesn’t fit correctly. Once the mask has been fitted correctly, many patients do a second sleep study to ensure that the CPAP is improving their sleep.
MedicationSome sleep disorders, such as periodic limb movement disorder or narcolepsy, can be treated with medications. These medications are not always able to cure the disorder, but they can treat the symptoms.