The American Sleep Disorders Association reminds us that sleep is not just the absence of activity, but an active state essential for mental and physical restoration.
id you know that there are some 84 waking and sleeping disorders that can interfere with sleep, resulting in diminished quality of life and personal health? The disorders could include problems with breathing; falling asleep and/or staying asleep; or with staying awake or adhering to a consistent sleep/wake cycle - among others. Some are potentially fatal.
Winthrop's Sleep Disorders Center, the only program in Nassau County, is accredited by the American Sleep Disorders Association, and provides comprehensive, individualized evaluation and testing for the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders related to sleep.
Today, Sleep Medicine is closely associated with Pulmonary Medicine, but it has been recognized as a discrete medical discipline for the past 20 years. The Center's Director, Michael Weinstein, MD, is a Board Certified Sleep Specialist.
The good news is that typically, most patients progress and regain
their health through
the recuperative powers of achieving normal
The Sleep Disorders Center is in operation 24 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Self-referrals are accepted, but most patients are referred by physicians, usually pulmonary or ear, nose and throat specialists.
Patients who are undergoing testing sleep in one of four specially designed bedrooms in the Center. The bedrooms are accessible to the physically challenged and are comfortably equipped with overhead television sets and reading lamps, to help simulate a homelike environment. Except for special circumstances, all testing is performed at night.
While the patient sleeps, brain wave activity, breathing, eye movements, muscle activity, body position, snoring, and oxygen levels are monitored in real time and recorded, through a procedure known as polysomnography.
All testing in the Sleep Disorders Center is interpreted by Dr. Weinstein and Dr. Maritza Groth, Assistant Director of the Sleep Disorders Center, who formulate a treatment plan, specific to each patient. Nighttime tests are scheduled around patients' daily lives, with many patients spending their night in the Sleep Disorders Center and leaving directly for work. Some board the Long Island Railroad, as the Mineola station is adjacent to the building housing the Sleep Center.
Sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy
The two major sleep disorders diagnosed most frequently at Winthrop are sleep apnea - a breathing disorder - and narcolepsy, a genetically based neurological sleep disorder, characterized by undesirable sleepiness at inappropriate times. Distinguishing between the two disorders can
There is no known cure for narcolepsy, but most people with this disease can lead nearly normal lives if the condition is properly diagnosed and treated. The Sleep Disorders Center is currently developing a Narcolepsy Support Group, and invites inquiries at 516/663-2579.
Apnea is the Greek word meaning "want of breath." People with sleep apnea do not breathe properly during sleep, which fragments their sleep. Some people do not breathe at all up to 75% of their sleep time.
Key Markers of Sleep Apnea
1. Bed partner witnesses and reports the cessation of breathing
2. History of Snoring
3. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)
4. High blood pressure
5. 17 inch or greater neck circumference
Individuals who snore loudly every night should be suspected of having sleep apnea, especially if they experience sleepiness during the daytime. Snoring which is interrupted by pauses, then gasps, indicates that the sleeper's breathing stops and restarts. Sleep apnea leads not only to daytime sleepiness, but can trigger high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, morning headaches, loss of interest in sex, and for men, erectile dysfunction. Daytime sleepiness can interfere with concentration at work or school, and can make driving dangerous.
Sleep accounts for one third of our lives. Good sleep is a critical component of a healthy, productive life. If sleep complaints are troubling you, or someone you know, contact Winthrop's Director of Sleep Disorders Center at 516/663-3907.