Sleep Diagnostics

Breathing disorders during sleep can be serious and lead to impaired rest, many daytime problems as well as some health care problems. That’s why Reid Health provides you with a state-of-the-art Sleep Disorders Center, located in a quiet setting off the hospital’s main campus, to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

When sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea is suspected, we will monitor your sleep breathing patterns in our sleep laboratory. To do this, we will ask you to sleep overnight in one of our designated sleep rooms where we will attach various sensors to your skin. These sensors monitor your brain electrical activity, nose and mouth airflow, breathing patterns, heart rhythms, oxygen level and muscle activity.

While you’re sleeping, a trained technologist monitors these measurements along with your sleep habits.  After the all-night sleep study (or polysomnogram) is complete, your information will be transferred to a specialty sleep physician for evaluation.

To determine if you’re a candidate for our sleep diagnostic services, please take the following online quiz, “Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?”  If you answer yes to any of these questions, you could have a sleep disorder and benefit from careful evaluation in our Sleep Disorders Center.

Sleep Apnea

“Apnea” means the absence of breathing. During sleep, breathing changes with its stage and depth. Some individuals stop breathing for brief intervals as often as several times an hour. This can be normal. However, when these episodes of apnea become more frequent and last longer, they can cause the body’s oxygen level to fall and also disrupt sleep. The sleeper might not fully awaken but does lose the deep, restful stages of sleep and will feel tired the next day.

With sleep disrupted night after night, a sleep apnea victim faces increasing daytime sleepiness that leads to irritability, memory lapses, inattention and personality changes. These symptoms can cause poor work or school performance. Everyone has experienced feeling sluggish the day after a night of poor sleep. Obviously, many nights short of restful sleep bring many days without joy or success.

In addition to daytime problems, sleep apnea can injure organ systems. For example, the decrease in oxygen with each episode of apnea can alter heart function and increase the work the heart has to do. Some scientists suspect that apnea contributes to high blood pressure and stroke risk. Severe cases can even be life threatening by causing severe disturbances in heart rhythm.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common sleep apnea, happens when a temporary obstruction of the main airway, usually in the back of the throat, blocks breathing. This often occurs because the tongue and throat muscles relax, closing the airway. The chest and diaphragm muscles continue breathing efforts, but the obstruction prevents any airflow for an interval lasting seconds to minutes.

When this happens, the body’s oxygen level drops, causing breathing efforts to become more vigorous, which eventually opens the obstruction and allows airflow to resume. This often occurs with a loud snort or jerking of the body and partially rouses the sleeper. After a few breaths, the oxygen levels return to normal, sleep resumes, the muscles of the main airway relax and the obstruction recurs. And on the cycle goes all night long through different patterns of sleep.

Most with obstructive sleep apnea snore, suggesting partial obstruction of the main airway. But not all snorers have obstructive sleep apnea.

To determine if you’re a candidate for our sleep diagnostic services, please take the following online quiz, “Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?”  If you answer yes to any of these questions, you could have a sleep disorder and benefit from careful evaluation in our Sleep Disorders Center.

For more information, please contact us or ask your doctor to call (765) 983-7966.

Treatment

The treatment of sleep apnea depends upon the cause and severity revealed by the all-night sleep study. In mild sleep apnea, breathing during sleep can sometimes be improved by developing better sleep habits and avoiding alcohol and sedatives near bedtime. Weight loss can be helpful in obese individuals, while changing body position during sleep helps others.

In some severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, a blower, called nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) is used to create continuous air pressure in the throat, which prevents the obstruction. When sleeping, you will be asked to wear a small over-the-nose mask that is attached to the CPAP machine. Surgical therapies can also be a benefit in some cases.

For more information, please contact us or ask your doctor to call (765) 983-7966.

Address:  1350 Chester Blvd.