At The Edythe Kurz Center for Sleep Medicine, we diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders including:
- Snoring. Snoring is very common and, for the most part, there are no serious medical consequences. But habitual snoring may indicate obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disorder.
- Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder often accompanied by loud snoring. An individual with apnea stops breathing for brief periods during the night. Individuals must wake up briefly to breathe, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Usually, there’s no memory of these brief awakenings. There are two major types of apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of apnea, is caused by an obstruction in the throat that results in loud snoring and up to 60 seconds of stopped breathing several times during the night. Obstructive apnea is typically seen in individuals who are overweight or drink alcohol before sleep.
- Central sleep apnea is caused by a delay in the signal from the brain that tells the body to keep breathing during sleep.
- Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Many factors can contribute to insomnia, including stress, stimulants taken near bedtime (for example, caffeine or nicotine), environmental factors, shift work, medications and illness. Insomnia can affect people of all ages and can last from a few days or weeks to months or even years.
- Narcolepsy is defined as undesirable sleepiness at inappropriate times. This disorder may include one or a combination of the following symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, a brief loss of muscle control, sleep paralysis and hallucinations or vivid dreamlike experiences that occur during drowsy episodes. The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown.
- Idiopathic hypersomnia is an uncommon chronic sleep disorder in which the patient feels the need to sleep all the time, even after a good night’s sleep. They may take long naps, but wake up feeling no more rested.
- Parasomnias are a variety of disruptive sleep-related events, such as confusional arousals, night terrors, teeth grinding, sleepwalking and sleep talking. Although usually infrequent and mild, these events may occur often enough to require medical attention.
- Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a condition in which people experience twitching in the legs or arms during the night. These muscle jerks may occur as often as once or twice each minute, but seldom wake the sleeper. However, it interferes with sound sleep and many people suffering from PLMD also suffer from insomnia and feel excessively tired during the day.
Diagnosis of any sleep disorder begins with the recognition of the possibility of a disorder by an individual, a bed partner or health professional. For some disorders, such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome, a detailed patient history and a sleep diary may reveal the problem. For other disorders, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy, the disorder must be confirmed by a sleep study (polysomnogram). This is an overnight test that records a patient’s sleep pattern, breathing, oxygen level, heart rate and rhythm and muscle tone while they sleep in a private, comfortable room at our Sleep Center.
What to Expect
If you have a sleep study, you'll be asked to arrive at 9 p.m. on the night of your study and will be shown to a room that includes a bathroom, shower and cable television. Once you've settled in, the technologist will connect you to the monitoring equipment using adhesive pads. No needles or other invasive methods are used. In most cases, you can leave early the next morning after enjoying our complimentary breakfast. For certain conditions, the sleep study is followed the next day by a multiple sleep latency test, which is like an overnight sleep study but consists of brief naps. Findings from the sleep study will be sent to your physician.
There are a variety of treatments available depending on the type of sleep disorder. Sleep apnea may be treated by surgery, wearing a dental appliance, reducing weight, wearing a breathing device called a nasal CPAP or any combination of those therapies. Narcolepsy and PLMD are treated with medications. Insomnia is treated primarily by behavior modification and re-learning effective sleep habits. Your physician will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to improve the quality of your sleep.
For information or to make an appointment with the Edythe Kurz Center for Sleep Medicine, contact 845-348-2209.
Appointments or Information