Do you snore loudly or wake up often during the night? Do you feel sleepy during the day, even after a full night of sleep?

The amount and quality of sleep we get has dramatic effects on our lives. Common sleep disorders include sleep apnea and snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy, parasomnias and abnormal sleep-wake rhythms.

In March, Summit Medical Center will open a new state-of-the-art testing facility, the Summit Medical Sleep Center, which will offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for all sleep disorders. If you suspect you might have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about sleep testing.

At the Sleep Center, patients will sleep comfortably in a specially designed room on a full-sized bed. Once diagnosed, the Sleep Center doctor will recommend a treatment plan to correct any identified sleep disorder, most of which are treated successfully.
Penny Grunder, the sleep center director, said sleep therapy is extremely important to overall health because left untreated, sleep apnea can cause more serious health problems.

“Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy is the gold standard for treatment because it is non-invasive and has the longest successful track record for treating (obstructive) sleep apnea,” she said. “Oral appliance therapy is successful, but only for the right patients. It isn’t the answer for everyone and if done incorrectly can cause other problems.”

Sleep Apnea

More than 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes brief, repeated breathing interruptions during sleep.

“Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. “For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of drowsy driving.”

If diagnosed with sleep apnea at the Summit Medical Sleep Center, you may get a prescription for a PAP device. Summit Medical Sleep Center will work with local home care companies who will ensure patients use these machines properly.

“Using PAP therapy incorrectly is easy to do as it should be set up by a qualified health professional and instruction should be given to all patients,” Grunder said. “What usually happens is that patients just don’t use or use it intermittently. If it isn’t used, there is no benefit.”

Improper use might include using a mask that doesn’t fit or using a nasal mask when the person only breathes through the mouth. Another possible misuse would be using someone else’s equipment, Grunder said.

“Using someone else’s equipment has the potential to knock out the drive to breathe in a person that shouldn’t be using it or if the pressure is set higher than needed,” she said.

Why Sleep Matters

Studies show that insufficient sleep increases a person’s risk of developing serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to Harvard Medical School. A lack of adequate sleep over time has also been associated with a shortened lifespan.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends sticking to a sleep schedule — the same bedtime and wake-up time — every day, even on weekends. Anyone who has trouble sleeping at night should avoid afternoon naps.

For those who may not suffer from a diagnosable sleep disorder, evaluate rituals and surroundings to see if any changes might help. The needs time to shift into sleep mode and certain behaviors — such as using an electronic device at night — could be hindering your from getting a good night’s sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests a relaxing bedtime ritual away from bright lights to help ease into sleep mode. Also, are your mattress and pillows comfortable and supportive? Mattresses generally last about 9 or 10 years before needing replacement.

If you’ve tried to eliminate sleep distractions and have altered your evening rituals but still can’t get quality, consistent sleep, contact Summit Medical Center’s Sleep Center today at 307-266-9792. Sleep studies are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with testing available every night by appointment. Weekend appointments also available.

Summit Medical Sleep Center is a state-of-the-art testing facility offering:

  • Sleep studies for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea in one night or in two nights, if needed
  • Finding correct pressures using a PAP machine
  • Nap tests for narcolepsy
  • Nationally qualified staff
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • 2- to- 3-day turnaround of sleep reports
  • Quality patient care
  • Test interpretations by Board Certified Sleep Specialist Dr. Akshay Mahadevia

Testing rooms include:

  • Full-size bed
  • Private bathroom
  • Individual climate control
  • Cable TV
  • Refreshments
  • Wifi
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