Wilmington Sleep Center
Sleep Disorder Diagnostics & Treatments
The average person spends one-third of his or her life sleeping. Quality
sleep helps rejuvenate the body and mind each day. At least one in five
people suffer from some type of sleep disorder that affects their ability
to function during the day. If you are one of these people, you do not
need to suffer.
The key to remedying a sleep disorder is diagnosing the cause of your interrupted
sleep cycle. At the Saint Francis Healthcare Sleep Center, we perform
overnight studies where we observe a patient’s sleeping habits and
monitor their vital signs. Our sleep center is one of the few in Delaware
that is accredited by the Academy of Sleep Medicine. The facility includes
eight private rooms with private baths designed in a non-clinical style
that helps patients feel relaxed. Board certified physicians, Lee P. Dresser,
MD, and N. Joseph Schrandt, MD, review all sleep studies.
Sleep Conditions & Their Effect on Your Health
Sleep plays a large role in your overall health and well-being. Far too
many people underestimate the damage sleep disorders can have on their
health and don’t receive treatment. Below is an overview of some
common sleep disorders and the effects they can have on your health.
Narcolepsy – Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous
system. This condition interferes with the body’s ability to regulate
sleep and wakefulness, causing you to fall asleep at inappropriate times.
Narcolepsy can also result in hallucinations, sleep paralysis, and automatic
behavior (performing routing actions with no memory of doing them).
Shift Work Disorder (SWD) – Your body has its own sleep schedule known as a circadian rhythm. Many
people who work irregular hours develop SWD as it disrupts the circadian
rhythm and makes it difficult for the body to know when it should be resting
and when it should be active. SWD can result in excessive sleepiness or
insomnia. It can also make it difficult to focus on a task and exacerbate
a heart or stomach disorder.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – If you snore loudly at night, or someone has noticed that you stop breathing
periodically while sleeping, you may have sleep apnea. This is a serious
condition that inhibits your ability to breathe while sleeping. OSA can
not only make it difficult to sleep through the night, it also limits
the oxygen your body absorbs, putting you at greater risk for depression,
hypertension, heart attacks and strokes. OSA is very common, with numbers
comparable to diabetes and asthma statistics.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) – Do you feel a strange, uncomfortable feeling in your legs when trying to
sleep? This sensation can make it difficult to relax, even when lying
down in a peaceful setting. As a result, many people experience depression
and other stress related symptoms when dealing with RLS. RLS can be caused
by many things, including a central nervous system disorder, iron deficiency
anemia, pregnancy or diabetes.
Sleep & Women – Women are twice as likely to experience insomnia side effects as men, and
studies have shown women who sleep for less than six hours a night have
difficulty driving. Pregnancy and menopause can also cause sleep disorders
in women, and many women who have trouble sleeping become clinically obese.
Be sure to speak with your doctor if you have felt lethargic during the
day, have difficulty falling asleep, or have suddenly started to snore loudly.
Obesity – If you have been diagnosed with clinical obesity, you are at a
higher risk of developing a sleep disorder and suffering some of the more
severe side effects. These two conditions feed on each other—while
obesity increases the risk of sleep disorders, sleep disorders create
hormone imbalances and make it difficult to control appetite. If you have
ever had issues with weight and start developing sleep abnormalities,
speak with a doctor as soon as possible. You may also want to consider
The Saint Francis Healthcare Sleep Center is open Monday through Friday
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 302.421.4500 to make an appointment.