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Neurological Sleep Disorders

Expert Care: Sleep Studies and Testing

An estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have a sleep or wakefulness disorder, which can be identified by a home sleep study or sleep lab study. Sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea can lead to daytime sleepiness, irritability, problems with memory, depression and falls or accidents during the day. Because of the risks of sleeplessness, it’s important to see an experienced specialist in sleep medicine.

Problems in this are are linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and occupational errors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality and reduced quality of life.

Schedule an appointment by calling (713) 704-7100 or by contacting us online.


Diagnosing Sleep Disorders

Sleep medicine specialists at Mischer Neuroscience Associates have years of experience helping patients with sleep disorders.

Among the conditions they diagnose and treat are sleep apnea, sleep-related breathing disorders, narcolepsy, insomnia, periodic limb movement disorder, sleep walking and talking, REM behavior disorder, hypersomnolence, sleep-wake schedule disruption, nocturnal oxygenation problems, difficulty maintaining sleep, unusual behavior during sleep and night terrors.

They use the following studies to diagnose sleep disorders:

Overnight Sleep Studies

The nocturnal polysomnogram (NPSG) is commonly ordered for patients with excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, morning headaches, chronic fatigue, REM behavior disorder and parasomnias that include night terrors, nightmares, sleep walking and bedwetting.

The nocturnal polysomnogram with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is performed for treatment of obstructive and mixed sleep apnea, upper airway resistance syndrome and snoring. CPAP systems consist of an airflow generator, air tubing and a nasal mask. Air pushed from the generator through the tubing and mask passes through your nose and into your throat, where the slight pressure keeps your upper airway open without interfering with breathing. CPAP is considered the most effective noninvasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The nocturnal polysomnogram with BiPAP is performed with people who have difficulty tolerating the NPSG with CPAP or who have a CPAP pressure of higher than 17 cm/H2O. Bilevel therapy works by delivering two different levels of positive air pressure: a higher level of pressure when you inhale and a lower level of pressure when you exhale. BiPAP devices can help people with obstructive sleep apnea if they find CPAP therapy too difficult.

The split night sleep study is used to initiate quick treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea. The study consists of two parts: diagnostic tests are performed during the first half of the night and if obstructive sleep apnea is clearly evident, treatment involving the nasal CPAP is administered during the second half of the night.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test

The multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) is a recording of brain waves, eye movements and muscle activity and EKG during five 20-minute nap periods scheduled throughout the day in two-hour intervals. Used to rule out narcolepsy, cataplexy and idiopathic hypersomnolence, the MSLT can accurately assess daytime sleepiness by measuring the length of time required to fall asleep during each nap (sleep latency).

Maintenance of Wakefulness Test

The maintenance of wakefulness test is used to determine a patient's ability to remain awake in the daytime. You'll be asked to schedule an entire day, during which your brain waves, eye movements and muscle activity will be recorded during 20- or 40-minute nap periods scheduled in two-hour time periods. A nighttime test may be scheduled for people whose work schedule requires them to be awake during the night.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Being older doesn’t mean you have to feel tired all the time. Here are a few tips for good sleep hygiene:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule and avoid napping in the afternoons.
  • Take time to relax before bedtime each night.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and as quiet as possible – not too hot or too cold.
  • Exercise during the day but not within three hours of your bedtime.
  • Try to get out in the sunlight each day.
  • Large meals near bedtime can keep you awake, but a light snack in the evening may help you sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day.
  • Drink fewer beverages in the evening to avoid waking up to use the bathroom.
  • Even small amounts of alcohol may make it harder to stay asleep.

Scheduling an Appointment

Sleep specialists at Mischer Neuroscience Associates are conveniently located in offices across the Greater Houston area, and some locations have sleep labs on site, allowing for diagnosis and treatment in one location. To learn more, call (713) 704-7100 or click the Contact Us button below.

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