You Don’t Need To Suffer Sleepless Nights Any Longer!
Dr. Patrick Troy and Dr. Jeffrey Nascimento are board-certified sleep medicine physicians. They answer some of the most common questions about sleep issues and health risks. And, they discuss how you can get the help you need to get on the path to a better night’s sleep.
How common are sleep issues?
Nearly 40 million people have sleep problems according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sleep is the #2 complaint that people have when visiting a doctor, followed by chest pain. We spend more than a third of our lives sleeping. Therefore, it is essential to make sure we get adequate, restful, high-quality sleep.
Is lack of sleep harmful?
Sleep deprivation has been documented to affect appetite and metabolism, reduce energy, and contribute to weight gain. When left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased health risks including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease (heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmias)
- Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
- Decreased quality of life, depression, and attention deficit disorder
- Increased insulin resistance (diabetes and pre-diabetes)
Lack of sleep can have deadly consequences – for you and others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy drivers cause more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year with over 1,500 fatalities.
What are the most common sleep issues that you treat?
We treat a wide range of conditions including:
A common disorder involving one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. Disrupted breathing and lack of oxygen due to narrowed or collapsed airways lead to poor sleep quality and excessive daytime drowsiness.
Persistent inability to fall or stay asleep.
Uncontrollable sleep attacks during the day.
Excessive sleepiness during the day.
Disruptions to sleep including night terrors, sleepwalking, confusional arousal, sleep paralysis, and REM Behavioral Disorder.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Pain or crawling sensations in the legs.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Thrashing or kicking of the legs resulting in disturbed sleep.
How common is sleep apnea?
While most people experience occasional insomnia, a deadly condition called sleep apnea affects an estimated 20 million Americans. Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, it means that your airway collapses due to relaxation in the muscles of the upper airway. Apnea is when the airway is completely closed, resulting in temporary breaks in breathing and a lack of oxygen flow. This disrupts normal sleep, results in poor quality sleep, and can cause sleepiness during the day.
Can sleep apnea have serious health consequences?
Sleep apnea is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and stroke. Most sufferers are unaware that their restless nights are filled with the noisy signals of a sleep disorder – snoring, choking, or gasping. These signals are often forgotten upon awakening, but result in an unsatisfactory night’s sleep and can lead to serious health consequences.
Fortunately, there are treatment options!
What is a sleep medicine specialist?
We have seven experienced physicians at Starling who are board-certified in Sleep Medicine, as well as Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Our team takes a comprehensive approach to your care in order to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your sleep problems. We analyze your sleep issues, coordinate sleep testing at home or in a sleep center, and develop a customized treatment plan. We work closely with your other healthcare providers and manage all aspects of your sleep care in an efficient manner.
When should I consider a sleep consultation?
If you experience any of the symptoms below, you may benefit from a sleep consultation:
- Choking or gasping for breath while sleeping
- Feeling excessively tired during the day
- Nodding off while driving
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Lack of energy
- Morning headache
- Trouble concentrating
Talk to your primary care doctor, who can schedule a referral to our sleep medicine team, or call us directly at 860-547-1876.
What is involved in a sleep consultation?
During a sleep consultation, our experts will:
- Discuss your sleep issues and their impact on your life
- Determine the most appropriate sleep testing option
- Obtain authorization for sleep testing
- Review results of sleep testing
- Discuss treatment options
- Develop a customized treatment plan
- Order necessary equipment
- Provide follow-up to insure adequate treatment of the sleep disorder
- Communicate with your other healthcare providers
What are the options for sleep testing?
There are two options for sleep testing. Our physicians will determine the optimal testing method to evaluate your sleep issues.
Home Sleep Testing (HST)
This convenient testing option is used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. HST occurs in the comfort of your home while you sleep with equipment designed to evaluate your breathing. You bring back the machine the next day and we are able to easily analyze the results.
In-lab Sleep Study
An overnight visit is conducted in a state-of-the-art facility. In a comfortable setting, a technician applies sensors to monitor sleep, heart rate, breathing, and oxygen levels. We conduct in-lab sleep studies in conjunction with Hartford Hospital’s sleep labs in Bloomfield, Hartford, and Wethersfield.
What are the different treatment options?
Based on your diagnosis, there are a number of treatment options which may include:
- Medical devices, such as a CPAP machine
- Dental appliances
- Referral to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist
- Surgery including nerve stimulators
- Weight loss program
- Cognitive and behavioral therapy
Where are you located?
We see patients in many convenient locations:
Anything else I should know?
Our new Manchester location is now open, and we can get you in quickly and on the path to a better night’s sleep. We have free parking and are easily accessible.
We have team members there 5 days a week and also treat the full range of pulmonary issues, including asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, shortness of breath, COPD, lung cancer, and anything related to lung conditions.
Don’t suffer any longer with sleepless nights.
Call our sleep medicine team at 860-547-1876.