Treatment for Sleep Disorders
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers sleep insufficiency a major public health problem. People nodding off while performing daily tasks has been linked to motor vehicle crashes, medical errors and industrial disasters. People who do not get sufficient sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, depression and obesity, as well as cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.
Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are two major culprits, according to the CDC. Between 50 and 70 million US adults are believed to have a sleep or wakefulness disorder.
Physicians affiliated with The Sleep Lab at Texoma Medical Center (TMC) focus on diagnosing and treating sleep disorders and other conditions.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Of the nearly 70 million Americans who are problem sleepers, about half have a chronic disorder that keeps them from getting the restorative sleep they need according to the CDC. Common sleep disorders include:
- Snoring — Obstructed breathing during sleep
- Sleep Apnea — Pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping
- Restless leg syndrome — Leg movements preventing sleep
- Periodic limb movement disorder
- Sleepwalking, night terrors (unremembered frightening dreams), nocturnal eating disorders
- Hypersomnia — Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Insomnia — Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
- Narcolepsy — Uncontrollable urges to sleep
After an initial consultation with TMC's sleep specialists, you may be asked to participate in a sleep study (or polysomnography) to help physicians diagnose your condition and recommend a plan of treatment.
During an overnight stay at the sleep center, a specially trained technologist will attach small monitoring devices to your head, arms, legs and torso. The devices monitor sleep patterns, heart rate, breathing, muscle movement, brain waves and oxygen levels to help identify your sleep disorder. An overnight sleep study at TMC's Sleep Lab offers the safety of a hospital setting with the comfort of a hotel suite. All four rooms feature big, comfortable beds and are equipped with wireless internet and cable TV. Appointments are available Monday through Saturday evenings.
TMC's Sleep Lab also offers at-home sleep studies so patients have the option of sleeping in the comfort of their own bed. Patients meet with a sleep specialist at the hospital first to learn how to use the portable recording equipment, which fits in the palm of the hand.
Sleep studies are scored during the procedure and preliminary results are available the same day. Detailed results are available within 48 hours of the study and forwarded to your physician. A referral is required for a sleep study and most insurance plans are accepted.
Treating Sleep Disorders
Many sleep disorders can be treated with lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, getting exercise and changing sleep patterns. Psychological or behavioral therapy, medications or surgery may be needed in some cases. One of the most successful treatments for sleep apnea is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). CPAP is a mask that is worn during sleep; it fits over the mouth or nose only and blows a gentle, steady stream of air into the airway to help keep it open during sleep.
For more information, contact TMC's Sleep Lab at 903-416-4020.
If you need a referral to a sleep specialist or other physician at Texoma Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 1-903-416-3627.