Adequate sleep is essential for good health. Sleep gives us renewed strength, the capacity to carry on daily activities and the ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses that we all must face. The loss of a single night’s sleep can be insignificant. However, further loss can drastically affect our lives. We become incapable of coping with life’s challenges and become irritable and less able to get along with others. For approximately 20% of the population at any given time, a normal night’s sleep is difficult to achieve. For others, staying awake during the day is an impossible task. Our Sleep Diagnostic Center at Meadville Medical Center (MMC) is here to help.
What Is a Sleep Diagnostic Center?
A Sleep Diagnostic Center is a medical facility for the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with sleep-related disorders. These include problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or remaining awake. Lack of sleep produces an incredible variety of symptoms that can interfere with our daily lives.
Patients are referred to the Sleep Diagnostic Center at MMC for symptoms associated with sleep disorders that can include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Poor work performance
Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia, or inability to sleep, is not uncommon. Causes range from breathing problems, to the use of medications, to psychological or emotional troubles. At times the solution is simple, such as changing a medication or eliminating an environmental factor such as noise. In other cases, more complicated issues must be explored.
Some people find it difficult to fall asleep at a given time. Others fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Some find it impossible to drive and are often involved in motor vehicle accidents. Many cannot adapt to a change in shift at work and perform poorly in the workplace. Staying asleep is a common complaint. Twisting and turning, while reliving one’s troubles or anxieties, keeps some awake. In the mornings they awaken unsettled, drained and anxious. Headaches, neck pain, muscular tension and irritability are only a few of the usual complaints.
Sleep-related disorders can sometimes be rather serious. Some illnesses are more commonly noted during sleep. Heavy snoring may be a symptom of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, or the stopping of breathing during sleep, can have significant consequences at different ages. Patterns of breathing can change during sleep and result in diminished oxygen flow to the brain. Seizures are also noted to be more prevalent during sleep. Pain, tremors or unusual movement disorders can interfere with sleep as well. The variety and nature of sleep-related disorders are surprisingly vast.
The Sleep Diagnostic Center at MMC
The Meadville Medical Center Sleep Diagnostic Center offers the latest diagnostic equipment and techniques for treating sleep disorders. Once correctly diagnosed, many sleep disorders can be effectively treated. Treatment may include a change in medication, an alteration of daily habits or the work schedule, weight loss or attention to related disorders. The key to the selection of treatment rests primarily with proper diagnosis. The Center’s specialists will discuss all treatment suggestions with the patient’s family physician. The appropriate medical management will then be handled by the family physician. Our approach is truly a team effort and includes the capabilities of specialists in the fields of pulmonary medicine, neurology, cardiology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), psychiatry and urology.
What Happens Next?
All patients to be evaluated at the Sleep Diagnostic Center must be referred by their family physician. Prior to the performance of a sleep study, you will be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire. This will include information covering sleep history, medical history, list of present medications and prior medical illnesses.
Your next step is an overnight sleep study called a Polysomnogram. In most cases this will be completed in one night, and you will return home the following morning. Your comfort, sense of well-being and privacy are of utmost concern during your stay at the Center. The sleep study is actually performed in a comfortable bedroom-like setting. While you sleep, a team of specially trained technicians, utilizing the latest monitoring equipment, will carefully record your brain waves, breathing patterns, heart activity and body movements. Private bathroom and shower facilities are available so that you may leave the Center in time for work the following morning.
Sleep Lab Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We do not allow calls into your room during your test. It is important for you to try to get a good night’s sleep. If a family member has a concern or if there is an emergency, they may call the Sleep Diagnostic Center at 814-333-5174.
Contact MMC Sleep Diagnostic Center
The Sleep Diagnostic Center at Meadville Medical Center is located on the fourth floor of the Liberty Street Facility. The Center is operational 7 days a week from 8:00 pm – 6:00 am. It is staffed by registered sleep technicians who are licensed health care professionals in Pennsylvania. The bedrooms are decorated with carpeting, draperies and furniture just like the home setting. For further information, ask your physician or call the Sleep Diagnostic Center at 814-333-5174.