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Sleep Health

From snoring to night terrors to sleep apnea, the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center can guide you to a healthier, more refreshing sleep.

How We Diagnose a Sleep Disorder

Often, the first step in diagnosing a sleep disorder is a sleep study. This involves spending a night at our center so we can observe your sleeping patterns.

Our facility has six private sleeping rooms – each comfortably furnished and outfitted with Tempur-Pedic beds and private bathrooms. The décor is much like a motel. We want you to feel relaxed and comfortable. You’ll wear your own night clothes and prepare for sleep the same way you would at home.

But, before you go to bed, we attach painless monitors to your body. While you sleep, a sleep specialist observes various characteristics of your sleep – heart rhythm, brain waves and muscle activity, body position, breathing and oxygen levels. We use this data to formulate your diagnosis.

Personalized Treatment Plan

If your sleep study confirms a sleep disorder, our experienced staff tailors treatment plan just for you. If you need positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), respiratory therapists provide follow-up care to help with equipment and ongoing treatment.

Signs of a Sleep Disorder

  • Loud snoring
  • Interruption in breathing
  • Violent movements during sleep
  • Finding it hard to stay awake in boring situations

Common Sleep Disorders

  • Insomnia, an inability to fall or stay asleep, can be caused by a combination of psychological, biological, medical, lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • Sleep/wake disturbances, such as those associated with jet lag or work shift changes, are caused by jolts to the body’s “biological clock.” These issues may be relatively short-term, but they certainly affect how you feel.
  • Snoring is generally regarded as harmless. But, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s not only a threat to domestic harmony. It could be a symptom of a more serious disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Sleep apnea is when a person repeatedly stops breathing (for more than 10 seconds) during sleep, depriving the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen. It causes fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS) describes irresistible leg movements. It can be accompanied by a creeping sensation deep in the legs, and arms can also be affected. Periodic leg movements in sleep (PLMS) is a similar condition with repetitive leg movements lasting as long as 5 seconds every 20 to 40 seconds. It can disrupt sleep and cause drowsiness during the day.
  • Sleepwalking and night terrors share common symptoms, including the fear of waking up somewhere other than your own bed. Sufferers can appear confused or disoriented and may walk around or hide things. They probably won’t remember what they did when they wake up.
  • Narcolepsy is uncommon, but can be dangerous. It involves daytime sleep attacks, loss of muscle tone and hallucinations while falling asleep.
  • REM behavioral disorder is characterized by vigorous, often dangerous, sleep behaviors accompanied by vivid dreaming. With normal sleep, we become paralyzed so we don’t act out our dreams. With REM behavior disorder, however, the paralysis is missing and patients may physically, often violently, act out their dreams.