The Sleep Disorder Center can help diagnose and manage most sleep disorders, including those of children 18 months and older. We offer clinical evaluation for problems related to daytime sleepiness and disturbed sleep.
If indicated by the referring physician's evaluation, polysomnographic testing (sleep studies) can be undertaken for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Our sleep studies are conducted in private rooms with a bathroom, television and Tempur-Pedic® beds. The procedure is painless and is monitored by our Respiratory Therapy Sleep Disorder Center staff. Our staff includes a medical director, a pediatric medical director, a clinical coordinator, a clinical supervisor and eight respiratory therapy sleep technicians.
An estimated 12 percent of all American adults and 20 percent of children suffer from sleep disorders. Sleep disorders are often not taken seriously enough. Loud snoring and daytime sleepiness may be warning signs of conditions that may cause accidents due to daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure or obstructive sleep apnea. Summarized below are the most common sleep disorders and their warning signs.
Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is the momentary, repetitive cessation of breathing during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can occur up to hundreds of times a night, causing sleep disruption and repeated falls in blood oxygen levels.
Warning signs include:
- Snoring or witnessed stoppages in breathing during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness or difficulty going to sleep
- High blood pressure
- Morning headaches
- Loss of sex drive
- Weight gain
- Dry or sore throat in the morning
Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a rare condition marked by excessive sleepiness at inappropriate times, which can be disabling and even dangerous.
Related symptoms and warning signs include:
- Vivid nightmares or hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up
- Paralysis when falling asleep or awakening
- A feeling of "going limp" when angry or surprised
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Disturbed or fragmented sleep
Insomnia: Insomnia is the inability to sleep and/or abnormal wakefulness. Symptoms may include:
- Depression or stress
- Disturbing thoughts while trying to sleep
- Waking during the night with difficulty going back to sleep
- Lying awake for more than half an hour before falling asleep
A few of the treatments available include:
- Positive airway pressure devices: This is a highly-effective therapy that uses air pressure to prop the airway open during sleep. Positive airway pressure machines work by pumping room air through a hose to a mask that fits over the nose or the nose and mouth. The mask is held in place with straps around the head.
- Oral appliances: These devices work to keep the airway open by holding the tongue or jaw forward, increasing the airway space behind the tongue. They can be effective for people who have mild to moderate apnea. An experienced dentist associated with a sleep disorders center or laboratory usually fits these appliances.
- Surgery: Although rarely effective in adults, surgery may be useful treatment for sleep apnea in children.
- Maintain a normal weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid alcohol within four hours of bedtime. Alcohol appears to trigger apneas in people who would otherwise merely snore, and also interferes with the ability to maintain sleep.
- Avoid chronic use of sleeping pills. Sleeping pills depress breathing and generally make sleep apnea worse.
- Avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime.
- Avoid smoking close to bedtime.
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- Get up at the same time every day.
Don't take the risk of having a sleep disorder go undiagnosed. If you or someone you know believes a sleep disorder exists, check with your physician to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for a sleep study.
The UK Good Samaritan Sleep Disorder Center can refer patients for cognitive behavioral therapy, or prescribe medication, if appropriate.
UK Sleep CenterSecond Floor, Suite 200,
UK Good Samaritan Medical Office Building125 E. Maxwell St.
Lexington KY 40508