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Sleep Medicine

Tired of sleepless or snoring-filled nights? You’re not alone. Roughly 60 million Americans are affected by a chronic sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Gundersen’s Sleep Center are experts in diagnosing why you aren’t getting enough sleep and providing you with effective treatments so you can feel better rested and be more productive.

Rest assured the Gundersen Sleep Center is one of the leaders in its field. It became the first fully accredited sleep center in Wisconsin in 1986 and has maintained accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) every year since. That means the care you receive consistently meets or exceeds the gold standard by which the medical community and the public can evaluate sleep medicine services.

Sleep disorders treated

Living with an undiagnosed chronic sleep disorder is known to increase your chances of experiencing other serious health issues. Talk with your primary care provider if you suspect you may have a sleep disorder so we can help you live a healthier life.

Insomnia - People with insomnia have troubles falling asleep, staying asleep or may wake up too early in the morning. Insomnia can make you feel tired throughout your day and affect your health and quality of life. If you suffer from insomnia, you should talk with their healthcare provider. For people with mild insomnia, the answer to sleeping better may be as simple as practicing good sleep habits, and for others, a sleep study may be just what you need.

Sleep apnea - Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing several times during the night, with each pause lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes. This causes oxygen levels to fall and disrupts sleep. The disruption in sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, problems concentrating and performing tasks, high blood pressure and other heart problems. Our sleep specialists will work with you to lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Restless leg syndrome - People with restless leg syndrome (RLS) feel an urge or need to move their legs to stop unpleasant sensations. RLS can lead to daytime sleepiness, depression or anxiety, and confused or slow thought processes. Gundersen sleep specialists can diagnosis and treat restless leg syndrome and help you get back to sleeping well.

Narcolepsy - Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder in which the brain has troubles regulating sleep and wake cycles properly. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and have sudden urges to sleep during the day. Our doctors use several specialized tests to confirm the diagnosis of narcolepsy.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders – Circadian rhythm disorders can arise when a person’s internal clock is disrupted or not functioning properly. People with circadian rhythm disorders have trouble sleeping and waking at the times required for normal work, school or other activities. Our specially trained sleep specialists can diagnose these types of sleep disorders and provide you with the best treatment options available.

Parasomnias - Parasomnias are sleep disorders that involve unnatural movements, behaviors or emotions during sleep such as sleep walking, sleep talking or night terrors. Parasomnias often happen during specific stages of sleep or in the transition between being awake and asleep. Parasomnias can be diagnosed by a sleep specialist through a sleep study, but a sleep study may not always be necessary.

Diagnosing sleep disorders

In order to diagnose the cause of sleep problems, a Polysomnogram (PSG) or a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) may be recommended. These two sleep studies record body functions while you sleep. These tests help diagnose the cause of symptoms such as:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Snoring
  • Observed pauses in breathing at night
  • Waking up with gasping or choking sensations
  • Problems functioning at work from fatigue/drowsiness
  • Recent car accident from drowsiness
  • Frequent waking up at night for no reason
  • Inability to fall back asleep once awake at night
  • Decrease in quality of life due to fatigue/sleepiness

Our Sleep Center offers day and night sleep studies in our hotel-like suites—complete with a full size bed and private bathroom. If you are having trouble sleeping, an overnight stay at our Sleep Center may be just what you need to determine what is keeping you up at night.

Sleep apnea treatments

If you suffer from sleep apnea, then you know the condition affects more than how well rested you feel. It often impacts every aspect of your life, including your body’s immune system and overall well-being. That’s why Gundersen’s sleep specialists are available to help you down a path to better sleep—and improved health. Our expanding treatment toolbox includes doctors from many specialties working collaboratively to find the ideal treatment option for your needs.

Non-Invasive

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) Therapy – Most often used to treat sleep apnea and heavy snoring, a CPAP device and specialized mask send a continuous and gentle stream of air pressure through your nose and/or mouth to keep your airway open while sleeping.

Oral Appliance Therapy – If you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea and have not found relief with a CPAP device, oral appliance therapy may be a cost-effective intervention. Treatment includes a dentist, oral surgeon or sleep specialist custom fitting you with a prescription mouth-guard-like oral device that can be worn at night to help you maintain an open airway.

Minimally Invasive

Inspire therapy – is a new implantable treatment option for people with obstructive sleep apnea who have not found relief with CPAP. Inspire monitors your breathing and, when needed, painlessly and automatically stimulates your hypoglossal nerve to control the movement of your tongue and other muscles that can obstruct your airway. Note: Not all insurance covers Inspire.

Surgical

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – UPPP surgery enlarges the airway, and may involve trimming the soft palate, uvula, tongue or all three to help you breathe easier and sleep better.

Maxillomandibular Advancement – Maxillomandibular Advancement involves moving your jaw forward slightly, creating more airway space and allowing for easier breathing while sleeping. This surgery may be appropriate if you have severe sleep apnea and have not responded to more conservative treatments.

Healthy sleep habits

Your busy life may be causing you to not get enough sleep. As an adult, you should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night to be at your best. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience poor concentration, irritability and decreased work production.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve sleep:

  • Keep a strict schedule of going to bed and getting up
  • Avoid naps during the day
  • Get out of bed and do something productive if unable to sleep
  • Avoid watching television, eating or reading in bed
  • Increase exercise during the day, but not within two to three hours of going to bed
  • Choose relaxing activities in the evening such as bathing, reading, and other restful hobbies
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
  • Make sure the bedroom is safe, comfortable and reasonably quiet

The Sleep Lab & EEG are services of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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