Sleeping problems can be a nuisance, and can also be detrimental to your health.
Do you snore loudly?
Do you notice or have you been told of any leg or arm twitching, which cause sleep disturbance?
Have you been told that you gasp for air or stop breathing at night?
Do you wake up with a headache?
Do you feel tired during the day?
Do you fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while driving or during a meeting?
Do you nap frequently during the day? And, if so, are the naps refreshing?
to any of the above questions, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Describe your sleeping problems to your health care provider. Try to keep a daily sleep diary for a week or two. Write down the time you go to bed, the time you wake up and anything that seems to affect your sleep. This information, along with a Sleep Study, will enable your health care provider to best treat your specific condition.
There are many different types of sleep disorders. The Sleep Study will help determine the exact nature of your specific condition. Some common types of sleep disorders are: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep); Insomnia (characterized by the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both); Periodic Leg Movements (brief muscle contractions that cause leg jerks, which can arouse an individual just enough to provide the perception of light or restless sleep); Narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness with recurrent daytime naps). If left untreated, sleep disorders can cause serious health risks. These risks include: high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attack, stroke, fatigue-related motor vehicle or work accidents and decreased quality of life.
Most people benefit from a specific course of treatment as recommended by their physician; however, some may benefit from some general guide lines:
Diet, if you're overweight
Avoid alcohol within 2 hours of bedtime
Avoid sleeping pills
Take medications cautiously
Sleep on your side
Specific treatments for sleep disorders may include: CPAP (continuous airway pressure provided to keep the nasal airway passage open during sleep); Supplemental Oxygen; Medication (to stimulate muscles around the throat to keep upper airway from collapsing); Mouth devices (to help keep airway open during sleep); Surgery (to correct physical abnormalities that may compromise breathing during sleep).
A referral from your primary doctor to the Franciscan Health Rensselaer Sleep Lab is required in most cases. The sleep study is covered by most medical insurances. The Sleep Lab incorporates the latest "state of the art" digital technology in making an accurate diagnosis of the sleep disorder. The sleep studies are performed by appointment only. Patients arrive at Franciscan Health Rensselaer and register between 8:30 - 9:00 p.m. They are generally ready to leave between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. the following morning. The connection of the electrodes takes about one hour. The Sleep Lab is open 3 nights per week.
If you would like more information, or have any questions, about the Sleep Lab or sleep disorders, please call 219-866-5141, extension 2452.