Staying up too late to watch the game or getting up earlier than normal to catch a flight may cause you fatigue the following day, but did you know consistently disrupted sleep can lead to long-term health issues? According to WebMD, sleep loss and poor sleep patterns can slow your reflexes, impair concentration and memory, and contribute to weight gain and depression. Chronic sleep loss can also lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
If you have difficulty waking in the morning, remain tired throughout the day, or if you snore and show signs of apnea, a sleep study may be right for you. Your first step is to get a referral from your primary care physician, pulmonologist, cardiologist or ENT doctor; they will help determine if you meet the criteria for participation in a sleep study.
CVMC’s Center for Sleep Disorders (“Sleep Center”) maintains the highest standards, and is nationally accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). “Our technologists have to be registered and nationally credentialed. We have a great group of people and we care about getting a good study so the patient can get the help they need,” says Erna Hash, Registered Polysomnographic Sleep Technologist (RPSGT).
When you arrive for your study at the Sleep Center, you can expect accommodations that are not as clinical as a hospital. “The rooms are set up a little like a hotel room,” Hash says. “Most rooms have a ‘Sleep Number’ bed, one has a Tempur-Pedic mattress, and each room has a private half-bathroom.” For further comfort, rooms have televisions and individual thermostats.
“Our standard is a 2:1 patient-to-technician ratio at maximum,” says Hash. This is preferable over other sleep centers where the ratio can be 3:1. The technician hooks up several sensors to track respiration, a “snore mic” to monitor snoring, an EKG, and electrodes on the scalp to read brainwaves and determine the stages of sleep. “Some people may think they will have trouble sleeping at the clinic, but our technologists expect that and do everything in their power to make the patient comfortable,” says Hash.
If during the test they discover you have apnea, they will wake you to administer CPAP treatment and continue to monitor for improvements. After the study, a physician who is board certified in sleep medicine will go over results and determine the best course of treatment. The physician also returns the report to your doctor.
If you are referred to the sleep center, the caring and experienced technicians and doctors are there to not only solve your sleep issues, but to move you in the direction toward better overall health. For more information about the CVMC Center for Sleep Disorders, located at 1501 Tate Medical Commons, Suite 104, please call 828.485.2814.