Kershaw Health

Having Trouble Sleeping?

If you’re having trouble sleeping, you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. In fact, many people don’t even suspect the sleeplessness they are experiencing is actually a sleep disorder.

One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea, which causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. It can happen hundreds of times a night and each time the breathing stops for several seconds or more.

Other common disorders are narcolepsy, characterized by a person falling asleep suddenly during the daytime; and chronic insomnia, a disorder that causes a person to have trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep night after night.

Signs of Inadequate Sleep
• Dozing off while reading, watching TV, sitting in meetings or sitting in traffic
• Slowed thinking and reacting
• Difficulty listening to what is said or understanding directions
• Difficulty remembering or retaining information
• Frequent errors or mistakes
• Depression or negative mood
• Impatience or being quick to anger
• Frequent blinking, difficulty focusing eyes or heavy eyelids

What should you do?
If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, see your physician. After interviewing you, he or she may refer you to the Sleep Diagnostics Center for a polysomnogram, or sleep study. This safe and painless test is performed overnight by our staff.

What happens during a sleep study?

The outpatient test starts in the evening and lasts at least 6 hours. During your stay, you’ll have your own private room and bathroom. The sleep study rooms are much more than typical hospital rooms. They provide many of the comforts of home— a luxurious Sleep Number bed covered in quality linens and extra pillows, artwork on the walls, cable television and an alarm system.

As you sleep, a sleep technologist will monitor the physiology of your body. Small electrodes attached to your body, similar to those used in an EKG exam, provide valuable information about your stages of sleep, body movements, respiratory events, heart rate, snoring and general behavior.

After analyzing the results and recommendations of your sleep study, your physician will be better able to pinpoint the cause of any sleep related disorder and develop a plan for helping you get quality sleep.