May is National Better Sleep Month, and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center’s sleep lab is using this opportunity to promote the benefits of good sleep. The latest statistics shows that 50 – 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and sleep problems that can diminish health, alertness, and safety. Untreated sleep disorders are linked to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. “Snoring is not only annoying to your bedmate, but it may also be a sign of a bigger health problem, such as obstructive sleep apnea,” says Stefany Carville, RN, BSN, nurse manager of the Claxton-Hepburn. She continued, “We can diagnose sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and other sleep disorders.”
Our polysomnographic technologists, better known as sleep lab technologists, which include William Irvine RPSGT, and Melissa Aker, RT, analyze and score sleep studies and then send the results to Claxton-Hepburn’s two sleep doctors, Dr. Robert DiGiacco, and Dr. J. David Shaefer, who interpret the data and suggest a treatment plan.
When patients arrive at Claxton-Hepburn’s sleep lab, the sleep lab techs will ask questions about the patient’s sleep patterns, then take the patient to the sleep study bedroom room which has all the comforts of a home bedroom, in addition to the video camera and sleep monitoring equipment. After placing sensors on the patient’s head, chest, face, stomach and legs, the sleep lab tech leaves while the patient goes to sleep. During the study, the sleep tech carefully observes the patient through the monitoring video, as the sleep monitoring equipment records heart rate, brain waves, muscle activity and body functioning.
If you or your primary care provider thinks you may have a sleep disorder, he or she can order a sleep study. Claxton-Hepburn offers two convenient sleep study options; in our sleep lab unit or a home study in the comfort of your own bedroom. Claxton-Hepburn’s Sleep Lab is open Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. For more information about the sleep lab services at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, visit us on the web at www.claxtonhepburn.org/sleeplab. Your tomorrow is worth defending.