Sleep is essential for good health. But it doesn’t always come easily. You may have trouble falling or staying asleep, wake up still feeling tired or experience bothersome movements while you’re in bed. Lack of sleep can make it hard to get through the next day and puts your overall health and safety at risk.
The Sleep Center at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital can help you get a better night’s rest so you awake feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. We evaluate your symptoms, do specialized testing and tailor a treatment plan to your precise needs.
We understand how frustrating it can be not to be able to sleep and not know why. We’ll help you get to the bottom of things and make a good night’s sleep more than just a dream.
Some of the most common sleep disorders include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome
Once we diagnose your condition, we will personalize a treatment plan for you.
Finding the treatment plan that’s best for you begins with making an accurate diagnosis.
We start by doing a physical exam and going over your health history. Frequently, we also ask you to keep a sleep diary for several days.
You’ll make note of things like:
- When you went to bed
- How long it took to fall asleep
- When and how often you woke up
- What you ate and drank before bed
- How well you slept during the night
This information may offer clues about your sleep patterns and sleep disorder. Depending on what doctors learn, they may order special tests to verify a suspected sleep problem.
A sleep study is also called polysomnography. We do this test at the Sleep Center. It allows us to observe your sleep overnight while using equipment to monitor your heart rate and breathing, brain waves, and leg and eye movement. The test is painless.
If you have excessive daytime sleepiness, a different test may be recommended. We do these tests during the day. They involve a series of nap sessions every two hours.
We tailor treatment to your condition and its underlying cause. Possible treatments include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
The Sleep Center at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital provides a comfortable, private room for your sleep study. It’s more like a hotel than a hospital. We’ll keep your room dark when you’re ready to go to sleep, and you can adjust the temperature as you’d like. You can wear your own pajamas and bring some things from home, like a book to read until you’re ready to sleep.
There’s a video camera in your room that will record you during the night. But the technologist doing your test will monitor everything from a separate room, so you should have a quiet, restful environment.
Things like caffeine, alcohol, stress and exercise habits can impact sleep. If you struggle with sleeping well but aren’t ready to see a sleep doctor, you might want to try these tips first:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol four to six hours before bedtime. Steer clear of nicotine too.
- Designate time for worry. Setting aside just 30 minutes a day to worry about the things that are stressing you and then forgetting about them is sometimes helpful.
- Distract yourself if you’re having trouble sleeping rather than just lying in bed. Try reading for a while, for example.
- Do something you find relaxing before bedtime.
- Don’t nap regularly. If you must nap, try not to sleep more than 30 minutes, and don’t do it after 3 p.m.
- Eat a light snack before bedtime, but avoid large meals.
- Exercise regularly — just not within six hours of bedtime.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable when you’re ready to sleep.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep. Do other activities elsewhere.