Prague Community Hospital is proud to announce the addition of a sleep studies lab to its services. “We have actually had it up and running for a few weeks now and have had some great results” stated Joan Walters, hospital CEO. “Our physicians are very pleased with the interpretation of the studies and the state of the art technology that is used.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Sleep problems and lack of sleep can affect everything from personal and work productivity to behavioral and relationship problems. Sleep problems can have serious consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving claims more than 1,500 lives and causes at least 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year.
Compounding the problem is the fact that most people know when to seek medical help for physical discomfort such as fever or pain—but sleep problems are often overlooked or ignored. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people with sleep disorders are undiagnosed and untreated. Sleep problems can take many forms and can involve too little sleep, too much sleep or inadequate quality of sleep.
To determine whether you might benefit from a sleep study, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you regularly have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep?
- Do people tell you that you snore? Has anyone ever told you that you have pauses in breathing (sleep apnea) or that you gasp for breath when you sleep?
- Are your legs “active” at night? Do you experience tingling, creeping, itching, pulling, aching or other strange feelings in your legs while sitting or lying down that cause a strong urge to move, walk or kick your legs for relief?
- Are you so tired when you wake up in the morning that you cannot function normally during the day?
- Does sleepiness and fatigue persist for more than two to three weeks?
- Do you wake up with a headache or a dry or sore throat?
- Do you fall asleep while driving?
- Have high blood pressure or on medication to control it?
- Do you suffer from depression?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a complete sleep evaluation may need to be considered and discussed with your physician. Before your visit, it may be helpful to track your sleep patterns and medications. Depending on your insurance plan and other factors, your primary care physician may start your evaluation by running tests for specific medical disorders that are known to affect sleep.
After an initial consultation with your physician or a sleep specialist, you may be referred for a sleep study. The medical term for this study is “polysomnogram,” which is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that usually requires spending a night or two in a sleep facility. During a polysomnogram, a sleep technologist records multiple biological functions during sleep, such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart rhythm and breathing via electrodes and monitors placed on the head, chest and legs.
After a full night’s sleep is recorded, the data will be tabulated by a technologist and presented to a physician for interpretation. Depending on the physician’s orders, patients may be given therapy during the course of the study, which may include medication, oxygen or a device called continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP.
In addition to medications and behavioral measures, some sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep), may include the use of medical equipment during sleep, such as CPAP therapy.
CPAP is an air pressure system that helps hold the air passages in the nose and throat open during sleep and eliminates snoring and pauses in breathing. Proper fitting and instruction for use of CPAP equipment – whether simple nosepieces or more elaborate masks – is critical to ensure your comfort and willingness to continue with treatment.
According to recent polls conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 7 out of 10 Americans say they experience frequent sleep problems. However, when proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders occurs, the feeling of sleepiness declines, memory improves and safety risks decrease dramatically - an estimated 85 to 90% of their patients get better sleep.
We are pleased to be able to offer this beneficial service to close to home for our patients and the surrounding communities. Even if your personal physician or specialist is out of town they can order your study and have it done here. We do perform ‘split-night’ studies ”.
For more information call 405-567-4922.