The staff of the Institute for Sleep Medicine at Deborah Heart and Lung Center are experts at diagnosing and treating a variety of sleep disorders. We offer patients accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for disorders such as sleep apnea, as well as less common disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia, sleep movement disorders, and sleep deprivation syndromes.
Patients undergo overnight sleep studies in comfortable suites with noninvasive, state-of-the-art equipment recording brain activity, blood oxygen levels, breathing, body position, movements and heart rate. Each room has a private bath, and patients receive breakfast.
One of the Institute’s strongest, and most unique, features is its comprehensive nature, with sleep medicine specialists working in tandem with other specialists to treat all aspects of the sleep disorder. For example, the Institute boasts on-staff Ear, Nose and Throat and periodontal specialists to evaluate and correct obstructive or anatomical causes of sleep disorders.
With recent evidence establishing connections between sleep disorders and cardiac conditions, Deborah’s sleep specialists and cardiologists collaborate to ensure that these conditions are not treated piecemeal, and that patients receive appropriate screenings for potential coexisting conditions.
Focusing on clinical research, the Institute for Sleep Medicine aims to provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment to its patients, and continually advance the discipline. We maintain a strong focus on clinical research. These efforts not only support the Institute’s physicians in their daily practice and contribute to the body of knowledge of sleep disorders, but they can also help Deborah’s patients be among the first to gain access to the latest treatment options available.
Sleep Apnea Syndrome
One of the most common of all sleep disorders. It is generally diagnosed in middle-aged, overweight people who have a history of snoring (it can also afflict children). It is defined as a period of time during sleep where the individual fails to breathe for more than 10 seconds. The failure to breathe disrupts regular sleep as the patient wakes to resume breathing, resulting in constant sleepiness. Over time, consistently poor sleep patterns can cause depression, mood swings, health issues, and a number of other problems that can significantly lower quality of life. Patients with SAS are at increased risk of automobile accidents, on-the-job injuries, job loss, divorce, and more.
Symptoms of SAS include:
Insomnia – Primary and Secondary
A common sleep disorder defined as the inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep. There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary. Secondary insomnia is caused by an identifiable source, such as stress, heartburn, persistent pain, depression, medication, sleep aid habits, or health issues. Primary insomnia is not caused by any of these sources; it simply leaves one unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. Symptoms of insomnia include:
• Lack of energy
• Inability to fall asleep
• Waking earlier than usual
• Inability to return to sleep if woken
Is characterized by an uncontrollable desire to sleep during the day. Sudden attacks of deep sleep will occur when a person does not want to sleep, and patients with narcolepsy will often wake frequently during nighttime sleep. Symptoms of narcolepsy include:
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Sudden, severe attacks of deep sleep during daytime hours
• Sudden loss of ability to control muscles in the body
• Hallucinations or vivid dreams that occur just before falling asleep or just after waking up
• Automatic behavior (patients perform routine tasks but will have no recollection doing so) Narcolepsy can cause a severe disruption in quality of life, and many patients suffer for years before seeing a doctor or receiving proper care.