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 bariatric surgery.

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.