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Sleep Disorder Services

Sleep Millions of Americans have sleep problems. Are you one of them? More than 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, yet 60 percent of adults have never been asked about the quality of their sleep by a physician, and fewer than 20 percent ever initiate a discussion. Sleep disorders can range from simple to complex to even life-threatening interruptions, not only in sleep, but also breathing during sleep. 

At Memorial Hermann, specialists in sleep disorders medicine collaborate to provide comprehensive care with an emphasis on assessing abnormal sleep and wakefulness and the effects of abnormal sleep on other medical disorders.

What is A Sleep Disorder?

Sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, as well as maintaining alertness during the day. Many types of disorders may involve one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Heartburn at night
  • Loud, irregular snoring
  • Awakening frequently to urinate
  • Morning headaches
  • Awakening with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Frequently awakening with nasal congestion
  • High blood pressure
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

If a sleep disorder is suspected, a sleep study can confirm the existence of a problem and provide valuable data for treatment.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a partial or complete blockage develops in the back of the throat or in the nasal passages when muscles relax during sleep. This results in snoring and pauses in breathing during sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation attributes 38,000 cardiovascular deaths a year due to OSA. People with OSA increase their risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease or traffic accidents. Memory problems, weight gain and impotency have been linked to the disorder.

About Our Facility

Our facilities are high-end, hospital-based sleep labs featuring individual bedrooms, each designed to resemble a comfortable bedroom in a home or hotel. Using computer technology, polysomnographic technologists, under the supervision of affiliated physicians specializing in sleep disorders, provide around-the-clock supervision and monitoring of all patients.

If You’re Diagnosed With OSA

There are several treatment approaches for patients with OSA. Your doctor may prescribe breathing equipment to provide continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Surgery of the upper airways and special dental appliances are other treatment options.

Other Types of Sleep Disorders

Restless Legs Syndrome

This condition is characterized by abnormal movement or uncomfortable sensations in the legs or feet, usually while lying in bed before going to sleep at night.

Periodic Limb Movement

Brief leg movements lasting one to five seconds may disrupts a person’s sleep and result in insomnia and daytime fatigue similar to obstructive sleep apnea.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In recent years it is has become recognized that some children diagnosed with ADHD suffer from sleep disorders. If sleep disorders are treated, improvement in the ADHD symptoms often follow.

Narcolepsy is characterized by:

  • Extreme sleepiness during the day
  • Falling asleep during the day (sleep attack)
  • Frightening dreams or hallucinations
  • Attacks of muscular weakness brought on by intense emotions

Insomnia is characterized by:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Frequently waking up during the night
  • Waking up early in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep

Designing a Treatment Plan

Upon completion of your sleep study, a sleep disorders specialist will provide your referring physician a final report with a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.