Sleep is more than just a “time-out” to our daily lives. A good night’s sleep is as necessary to health and well being as diet and exercise. Unfortunately, for more than half of all Americans, a good night’s sleep is difficult or even impossible to obtain.
The Ingalls Sleep Centers – with three convenient locations in Tinley Park, Flossmoor and Calumet City – offer testing, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals experiencing breathing disruption during sleep (sleep apnea), snoring, restless legs or arms, insomnia, parasomnia, daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy.
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, is increasingly associated with hypertension and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. What’s more, chronic problems like snoring, frequent nighttime awakenings, and restless legs or arms can negatively impact your rest, and affect your quality of life and abilities at work.
If you or someone you love has sleep problems, talk to your doctor and let the experts at the Ingalls Sleep Centers perform a detailed evaluation of your sleep. Individuals requiring a sleep study are scheduled during their regular bedtime hours in one of our three conveniently located Sleep Centers. Each of these centers features comfortable, private bedrooms with home-like furnishings and decor.
Common sleep disorders
While many people blame sleeping problems on worrying too much, there are often physical ailments at the root cause. Here are some of the more common sleep disorders:
A person with sleep apnea regularly has pauses in breathing for 10 seconds or longer (an occasional stop in breathing is normal). Apnea episodes can happen from as few as five times per hour to over 50 times an hour. People who have sleep apnea may be at greater risk for developing high blood pressure, depression, irregular heart rhythms, heart disease and stroke.
People with narcolepsy suffer from uncontrollable sleepiness, very vivid daytime dreams, "sleep paralysis," and brief loss of muscle control that may cause falling.
Periodic Movements of Sleep
Up to 10 percent of the population may have regular, repeated and uncontrollable leg jerks as they sleep. Periodic limb movement disorder and restless leg syndrome result in arousals and/or disturbances in sleep. Medical treatment is usually effective.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Up to 80 percent of the individuals who fall asleep during the day have a treatable medical problem such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy or periodic limb movement disorder.
Snoring can cause poor sleep (for the snorer and his/her family members) and may be the first indication of sleep apnea.
If you are one of the 35 million Americans who report poor sleep every night or most nights, there is help. About 50 percent of the individuals who report difficulty falling or staying asleep have physical causes. Medical consultation can help improve sleep in most of the other 50 percent as well.
Restless Legs, Nightmares, Sleepwalking
Tips on how to get a good night’s sleep:
- Set a regular bedtime and an awakening time, and stick to it as much as possible.
- Avoid napping during the day.
- Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly, but not less than two hours before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well-ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Use the bed for sleeping and sexual activity only.
Getting ready for bed:
- Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep.
- Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.
- Don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Some people find it useful to assign a "worry period" during the evening or late afternoon to deal with these issues.
- Establish a pre-sleep ritual.Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
- Get into your favorite sleeping position. If you don’t fall asleep within 15–30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until sleepy.
What to do about getting up in the middle of the night
Most people wake up a few times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep within 15–20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed "trying hard" to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later. Do not perform challenging or engaging activity such as office work, housework, etc. Do not watch television, or use the computer.
A word about television
Many people fall asleep with the television on in their room. Watching television before bedtime is often a bad idea. Television is a very engaging medium that tends to keep people up. We generally recommend that the television not be in the bedroom. At the appropriate bedtime, the TV should be turned off. The computer should be turned off also within an hour before bedtime.
Sleep Centers technologies
Ingalls Sleep Centers combine the latest diagnostic technology with a home-like atmosphere. Each spacious room features a private bathroom, calming decor, and a comfortable bed to put you at ease.
Focusing on sleep disorder breathing such assleep apnea, the Sleep Centers perform polysomnographic testing, sleep studies that provide clinical staff with a detailed picture of your entire sleep cycle. The studies allow technicians to analyze your exact sleep pattern, from the onset of sleep through the 5 normal levels of sleep, to your breathing, oxygen levels, heartbeat, movement and snoring activity. Data from the study is invaluable in diagnosing and treating any sleep disorder you may have.
The morning following your sleep study, our experts will begin to analyze your results. Some patients may begin treatment as soon as the next day.
In mild cases, modifications in habits and lifestyle may effectively treat sleeping disorders. Weight Loss, smoking cessation and changes in sleep hygiene all may help your condition.
The most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is the use of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) equipment during sleep. CPAP devices use small masks and bedside machines that regulate air flow to help keep your airway from closing during sleep. There are many different types of CPAP machines and appliances, and the Ingalls Sleep Centers staff will help you choose the best kind for you.
For those diagnosed with sleep apnea, follow-up visits and education are extremely important. You may need help getting started with incorporating CPAP into your routine, or have questions about sleep habits. The Sleep Centers staff is always willing to partner with your primary care physician and home care company in helping you adjust to your new treatment, and ensure the best possible outcome.
What is snoring?
Snoring is a noise produced during sleep, usually when an individual breathes in. It occurs when the muscles associated with structures at the back of throat relax during sleep. This causes vibration of some or all of those structures (soft palate, uvula and sometimes tonsils). All snorers have incomplete obstruction of the upper airway. Many habitual snorers have complete episodes of upper airway obstruction where the airway is completely blocked for a period of time. This is usually followed by snorts and gasps as the individual fights to take a breath.
How common is snoring?
One out of four people is a habitual snorer. It is more frequent in men and people who are overweight.
Should I worry if I snore?
Snoring can sometimes be a symptom of a serious disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). "Apnea" means the absence of breathing. Clinically, "apnea" is defined as stoppage of breathing for 10 seconds or more. When an individual snores loud enough to disturb others, it is usually a strong indication of obstructive sleep apnea. If this is the case, then the individual needs to be evaluated by a sleep specialist. Treatment for sleep apnea includes sleeping with a special machine called a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure). Other symptoms like excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, high blood pressure and frequent awakenings at night are indications that it could be sleep apnea.
There are different kinds of snoring that can indicate different things. Primary snoring, also known as simple snoring, is characterized by loud upper airway breathing sounds and NO episodes of apnea. Primary snoring is often treated by losing weight, sleeping on your side and refraining from alcohol and sedatives. It can also be treated with oral devices that help maintain an open airway, or, various types of surgery that involve removing excess tissue from the throat.
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep. Breathing stops because the airway collapses and prevents air from getting into the lungs. Sleep patterns are disrupted, resulting in excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day.
What causes the airway to collapse during sleep?
- Extra tissue in the back of the airway such as large tonsils.
- Decrease in the tone of the muscles holding the airway open.
- The tongue falling back and closing off the airway.
How many people have obstructive sleep apnea?
About one in four adults have OSA, and most OSA sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated.
What happens if obstructive sleep apnea is not treated?
If OSA is untreated, individuals are at risk for:
- High blood pressure.
- Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents.
- Heart disease and heart attack.
- Decreased quality of life.
What are the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?
If you or someone you know snores regularly and has one or more of the following symptoms, it may be obstructive sleep apnea:
- Snoring, interrupted by pauses in breathing.
- Gasping or choking during sleep.
- Restless sleep.
- Excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day.
- Poor judgment or concentration.
- Memory loss.
- High blood pressure.
- Large neck size (>17" in men; >16" in women).
- Crowded airway.
- Morning headache.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Frequent urination at night.
What should you do if you suspect you may have obstructive sleep apnea?
See your doctor right away, who may recommend an evaluation by a doctor specializing in sleep disorders.
Have a sleep study done; a sleep study can provide the doctor with information about how you sleep and breathe. This information will help the doctor to determine your diagnosis and treatment options.
What is the treatment for obstructive sleep apnea?
The most common treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), pronounced "see-PAP." Other less common treatments include surgery and oral appliances, which may be effective in certain individuals.
Any treatments should include weight loss if needed, exercise, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives, and hypnotics.
How does CPAP therapy work?
CPAP treats obstructive sleep apnea by providing a gentle flow of positive-pressure air through a mask to splint the airway open during sleep. Breathing becomes regular. Snoring stops. Restful sleep is restored. Quality of life is improved, and the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and motor vehicle and work accidents is reduced.
What does a sleep study involve?
In preparation of your evaluation at Ingalls Sleep Centers, you will receive a sleep questionnaire. Complete it carefully and review your answers with your partner if possible, since he or she may add valuable information.
Your evaluation will take place at one of our three conveniently located centers, either at the main hospital in Harvey, or at our Ingalls Family Care Centers in Tinley Park or Flossmoor. You will be interviewed and examined by our physicians who are board certified in sleep medicine.
After a thorough evaluation and review of your questionnaire, our physicians will determine if you should receive an overnight sleep test or polysomnogram.
How do I prepare for a sleep study?
Sleep studies are conducted at night. You will be given a wake-up time so you can plan your activities for the following morning. On the day of your sleep test, please follow these instructions:
- Avoid alcohol the day of the study.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) after noon.
- Check with your doctor if you should discontinue any medications you are taking prior to the study. Do not discontinue without checking first.
- Try not to nap.
- Bring an overnight bag as you would for an overnight stay at a hotel or a friend's house with toiletries and comfortable bed clothes.
What should I expect during a sleep study?
Your sleep test will be conducted by a sleep technologist in our comfortable and homelike bedroom setting. The technologist, who will be in a separate room from you during the testing, will show you the equipment and explain the procedure. The specialized equipment is used to track many body functions, including brain wave activity, breathing, heart rate, blood oxygen concentration, leg and chin muscle activity, eye movement, snoring and body position. Recording sensors are placed on the skin surface to record this activity. You may have to wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which is a mask that fits around your nose, or nose and mouth.
What happens after a sleep study?
After the sleep study, our sleep specialists will analyze and interpret the large amount of data recorded during the study. A typical sleep study involves more than 800 pages of data. Our specialist will then directly share with your doctor the results of the interpretation and treatment recommendations if a sleep disorder is diagnosed. You will then have a follow-up visit with your physician to discuss the results.
What treatments are available?
Treatment varies depending on the specific disorder. For sleep apnea, treatment options include weight loss; wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device – a mask worn at night connected to an air compressor; surgery; medication; or dental appliances. For narcolepsy and periodic limb movement syndrome, medication is very effective.
Are sleep studies covered by insurance?
Sleep studies are covered by most insurance plans.
How do I schedule a sleep study?
Talk with your doctor. If he or she doctor feels a sleep study is needed and writes an order, call us at 1.708.915.4585 today to schedule your sleep study at a time and location most convenient for you.
For your convenience, Ingalls Sleep Centers are available at the following locations:
Ingalls Memorial Hospital North Building
156th and Wood Street, Harvey, IL
Ingalls Family Care Center
6701 W. 159 th Street, Tinley Park, IL
Ingalls Family Care Center
19550 Governors Hwy, Flossmoor, IL