The first step to getting a better night’s sleep is a proper diagnosis.

Sleep is a basic human need, as important for good health as diet and exercise. Yet estimates from the National Institutes of Health show 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. These disorders cause more than just sleepiness. Not getting enough sleep or not getting the right kind of sleep can affect job performance and relationships. The lack of quality sleep can lead to accidents that cause injury or death. Sleep problems are also associated with many serious conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

In central Illinois, the C. Duane Morgan Sleep Disorders Center is a comprehensive center for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep-related issues. Soon to be conveniently located in the Methodist Atrium at 900 Main Street, it’s complete with the latest facilities for sleep testing, including eight new, hotel-like sleep rooms, as well as free parking in the adjacent surface lot. The center is certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Associate Medical Director Dr. Kishore Karamchandani says the center’s experienced sleep team includes four physicians board-certified in sleep medicine. “At Methodist, every patient is seen by a board-certified sleep specialist. We provide a full range of diagnostic and treatment services, and we pride ourselves on getting patients their results as fast as possible. That’s one reason why our patient satisfaction rating is always one of the highest in the country.”

Sleep disorders include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness) and sleepwalking, but the most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing during sleep, wake up, gasp for air, and fall back to sleep. This can happen so many times a night that you never get good, restful sleep.

“The first step towards getting a better night’s sleep is proper diagnosis,” declares Dr. Ravi Kashyap, medical director of the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center. “An overnight sleep study in our sleep center is the testing of choice, but we also offer home sleep tests if needed.”

An overnight sleep study is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that usually requires spending a night or two in the sleep center. A technologist uses monitors to record functions such as brain wave activity, heart rhythm and breathing. The physician then reviews the data to determine if the patient has a sleep disorder.

Once diagnosed, both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine agree the most effective treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP, a machine that helps keep the airway open during sleep. “Most patients adapt quickly,” explains Dr. Kashyap. “We also offer follow-up care to help you get comfortable with the CPAP so you get the better sleep you need.” Other treatments such as mouth devices or ENT surgery are also available for patients who have mild sleep apnea. Dr. Kashyap says the center’s physicians partner with a psychologist and a dentist to provide a full range of treatment for patients with sleep disorders.

If you suspect a sleep disorder, ask yourself the following questions to determine if you might benefit from a sleep evaluation:

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consult your physician to determine if you should be referred to a specialist in sleep-related issues. iBi

For more information on the C. Duane Morgan Sleep Disorders Center at UnityPoint Health – Methodist, call (309) 672-4966.