Friday, March 3, 2017

Are you sleepy?

By: Stuart J. Padove, M.D. with Medical West Sleep Medicine

Are you sleepy? We would like to introduce you to our Sleep Center here at Medical West!

Have you ever said?:

• I have been told that I snore

• I suddenly wake up gasping for air during the night

• I have been told that I stop breathing while sleeping

• I feel tired during the day even though I slept all night

• I have high blood pressure

• I’m tired during the day no matter how much sleep I get

• I have leg pains at night

• I kick my legs during the night

What do we treat? There are about 88 kinds of sleep disorders, but typically we most commonly see individuals with symptoms of:

• insomnia

• sleep apnea

• narcolepsy

• restless legs syndrome and/or periodic limb movements.

About one-third of the population has some form of insomnia at any given time, and 10% of that group has chronic insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a large majority (75%) of Americans say they've had at least one symptom of a sleep problem a few nights a week or more within the past year.

If your doctor suggests you undergo a sleep study, or polysomnography, you may be wondering what is involved in this test and what to expect. First, a sleep specialist will meet with you to discuss and review your symptoms. If a sleep study is determined to be needed it will then be scheduled. Sleep studies help doctors diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and nighttime behaviors like sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder.

A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor you while you sleep to see what's happening in your brain and body. For this test, you will go to a sleep lab that is set up for overnight stays—usually in a hospital or sleep center. While you sleep, an EEG monitors your sleep stages and the cycles of REM and nonREM or NREM sleep you go through during the night, to identify possible disruptions in the pattern of your sleep.

A sleep study will also measure things such as eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood (through a sensor—there are no needles involved), heart and breathing rates, snoring, and body movements. A sleep study is done in a room that is made to be comfortable and dark for sleeping. You'll be asked to arrive roughly two hours before bedtime. You can bring personal items related to sleep, and you can sleep in your own pajamas. Before you go to bed in the exam room, a technologist will place sensors, or electrodes, on your head and body, but you'll still have plenty of room to move and get comfortable.

If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as the ones above, we are here to help! For more information, please see our website at:

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