Sleep Center

Sleep Center: Putting Your Sleep Issues to Rest

New hours: Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 4:30 PM, Friday 8 AM – 4 PM.

Consistent sleep helps you renew the energy you need to maintain stamina, remain mentally alert, keep a positive attitude, and stay healthy, safe and productive. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders—many without even knowing it. If you’re one of them, Holland Hospital can help put your sleep issues to rest.

Our Sleep Center features a comfortable, state-of-the-art sleep lab staffed by doctors who are board certified in sleep medicine, as well as other specialists with extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

What Are Sleep Disorders?

Whoever said “you snooze, you lose” had it all wrong. When it comes to your wellbeing, getting adequate sleep is actually winning. Sleep is vital to your mental, emotional and physical health. There are a variety of reasons why so many Americans fail to get the regular sleep that’s essential to wellness. One of those reasons is about 70 million of us suffer from a sleep disorder.

More than 85 sleep disorders are recognized by the American Sleep Disorders Association. The most common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. As prevalent as they are, most sleep disorders are undiagnosed and untreated.

A sleep disorder is any disruptive pattern of sleep, including:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day
  • Excessive total sleep time
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Muscle weakness or restless legs
  • Low energy or persistent exhaustion
  • Increased anxiety or irritability
  • Sleepwalking, bedwetting or nightmares

Learn more about sleep and sleep disorders   

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you snore and usually wake up tired, you might have sleep apnea. It’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from this sleep disorder, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed. Unless your partner is disrupting your sleep or sleeping on the couch every night, you might not think of loud snoring as anything to worry about.

However, frequent loud snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) - the most common form that happens when the throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea - occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

The signs and symptoms of OSA and central sleep apnea can overlap, which can sometimes make the type of sleep apnea more challenging to diagnose. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you feel you might have sleep apnea or snore often.

Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea is critical, as it may be associated with other serious health conditions, such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.

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Diagnosis: The First Step Toward Better Z’s

To determine whether you have a sleep disorder, your doctor or health care provider may refer you to Holland Hospital for a sleep study. This study involves an overnight stay in our Sleep Center, which features hotel-like rooms with cable TV, a private bath and an adjustable bed.

For the study, you will check in at 7 pm, be prepped for the evaluation, and then go about your typical bedtime routine. During sleep, your breathing patterns, brain waves, respiration rate, oxygen saturation and airflow through the nose will be monitored and recorded. A trained sleep technician will be available during your testing period should you have any questions or concerns. A board-certified sleep medicine specialist will evaluate your test results and provide a treatment plan, if warranted.

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For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend you make certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, exercising more, avoiding alcohol or losing weight. If your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, or lifestyle changes don’t improve your symptoms, there are a number of other treatments available:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP, a simple but effective procedure for keeping your airway open during sleep. CPAP units may be rented or purchased at medical supply stores for use at home.
  • Oral appliances: Oral appliances may be an effective first line of treatment for many sleep apnea sufferers. These appliances are worn in the mouth like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic appliance while you sleep. Dental appliances hold the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open, and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and blocking the airway.
  • Surgery: If you have a deviated nasal septum, enlarged tonsils or a small lower jaw with an overbite that causes the throat to be too narrow, surgery may be a viable option.

Keep in mind, even if you don’t snore but aren’t sleeping well, you should still talk to your doctor. While sleep disorders like sleep apnea can be serious, they can also be successfully treated to help you get the rest you deserve and avoid additional health problems down the road.

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