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Center for Sleep Medicine

Sleep Disorders Treated at the Connecticut Center for Sleep Medicine

Symptoms of Possible Sleep Disorders

Individuals should consider a consultation if they (or one of their children) show the following symptoms:
  • Difficulty sleeping through the night
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Snoring every night
  • Short periods at night in which they stop breathing
  • A lot of motion during sleep
  • Sleepwalking
  • “Acting out” dreams
  • Morning headaches
  • Not feeling refreshed after sleep
To schedule a consultation, individuals should speak to their primary care doctor, or call our sleep center directly at 203.276.2300.

Some individuals have difficulty accepting that they may have a sleep disorder, and are convinced to come in by a partner. Our staff show sensitivity at all times and can explain that a sleep study could either rule out or confirm a sleep disorder. It is very important to diagnose and treat sleep disorders, because they carry a high risk of consequences such as:
  • Higher death rate
  • Heart conditions (heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, heart failure)
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Poor performance in school or at work
  • Marital stress
  • Sexual dysfunction

Types of Sleep Studies


Overnight Sleep Study

During a sleep study, the technologist is constantly monitoring the patient via both audio and video. Our study rooms have been designed to be relaxing and soothing for the patient. The patient will be fitted with several monitor leads on his or her face and scalp, and soft belts around the body to monitor breathing. If a patient wakes and needs to use the restroom, the technologist can disconnect and reconnect the leads for him or her. These monitors are part of a polysomnogram (PSG), which measures brain activity, eye movement, muscle activity, heart activity, respiratory airflow and effort, blood oxygen levels, snoring, and the effect of sleep position on sleep and breathing. Patients scheduled for a sleep study can see our Patient Information Form for pre-study instructions and information.

Pediatric Sleep Study

Children require special care during their sleep study. At Stamford’s Center for Sleep Medicine, we ensure every child has the same qualified sleep technician to conduct his or her study with us, from the time the child arrives until the child leaves the next morning. We understand this new experience may sometimes be more frightening for the parents than the child, and we are happy to answer any questions from the parents or the child, whether it be before, during or after the test.

In addition to the overnight polysomnogram, we can provide overnight therapy, multiple sleep latency tests (sleep studies conducted during daytime naps), multiple wake tests, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, bi-level PAP devices, adaptive servoventilation (ASV) devices and supplemental oxygen therapy.

Home Sleep Study

Home sleep studies can only be used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In a home sleep study, we give the patient a device during a clinic visit and a sleep technologist provides careful instruction in how to put the device on and operate it. These studies should be part of a comprehensive sleep evaluation, and are only appropriate for patients with select criteria:
  • A high pre-test probability of moderate to severe OSA
  • No significant comorbid medical conditions such as pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure or neuromuscular disease
  • No suspected comorbid sleep disorder in addition to OSA
  • Inability to be studied in a sleep laboratory (this includes patients in nursing facilities)
  • A need for monitoring a response to non-CPAP treatments after a diagnosis has been made
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends against home sleep testing as a screening tool for patients without symptoms.

Sleep Disorders Commonly Treated at Stamford Hospital's Sleep Center


Idiopathic hypersomnia

Patient manifest severe daytime sleepiness without the other symptoms often seen in narcolespy.

Insomnia

The patient has great difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Treatment usually consists of behavioral modification. Medication can also be very effective.

Narcolepsy

The patient has significant daytime sleepiness, and can have episodes of sudden weakness in the body during emotional moments, hallucinations associated with falling asleep or waking up, and periods when he or she feels unable to move. It is easily treated by a combination of medications.

Phase delay

This condition involves difficulty falling asleep at night and waking in the morning. This situation is treated with behavioral modification in combination with light therapy.

Restless legs syndrome

Patients with this disorder have frequent discomfort in the limbs. This sensation often makes going to bed or sitting for a long period of time very difficult. Medications are very effective at treating the disorder.

Sleep apnea

This disorder is characterized by repetitive episodes of blockage of the throat that occur during sleep. Approximately three percent of children and more than 10 percent of adults have sleep-disordered breathing. Children with this disorder often snore and have learning or behavioral problems. Adult sleep apnea has been associated with impaired job performance, personal relationships, mood and sex drive. In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, stroke, heart attacks, high blood pressure and possible death. A diagnosis is made with an overnight sleep study. Treatment can consist of a nasal mask, oral appliance, weight loss, a positional device, special stickers on your nose and in some cases minor surgery.

The first line of treatment for the vast majority of apnea patients is the use of a PAP (positive airway pressure) device. This method, whether the device is continuous, auto-adjusting or bi-level, can be very difficult to use and require adjustments or several mask changes before a patient is comfortable enough to sleep the needed amount of time it takes to feel better. At the Connecticut Center for Sleep Medicine we have trained support staff who can be there for the needs of a patient using a PAP device.

The CPAP management program is held by appointment and consists of a half-hour session with a respiratory therapist who can work with each patient on his or her particular issue. The therapist is able to desensitize a patient to the pressures of the machine, perform mask fittings, educate the patient on proper usage and cleaning, or deal with just about any problem a patient brings to the visit.

The Sleep Center also has staff on hand five days a week to answer questions or help with equipment or other issues.

Limit setting sleep disorder (pediatric)

Children constantly refuse or stall going to bed. Behavioral treatment is usually very effective.

Sleep onset association disorder (pediatric)

A baby is unable to fall asleep alone. Behavioral treatment is usually very effective.

Effective treatment is available for almost all sleep disorders. As a result, most of our patients achieve better sleep and greater daytime alertness following treatment at our center.  
To learn more about sleep disorders, you can also visit: Narcolepsy Network, SleepEducation.com, Willis Ekbom Foundation, and the National Sleep Foundation.

For questions regarding any of these disorders, individuals should speak to their primary care doctor, or call our sleep center directly at 203.276.2300.

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Test Your Health
Patient Testimonial
Marie Radcliff was being treated for a very persistent cough when her doctor noticed she kept dozing off in the waiting room.  After asking her to complete a sleep survey and follow-up sleep study, Marie was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Watch Marie’s story to learn how effective treatment has improved her quality of life.


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