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Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine physicians specialize in diagnosis and treatment of sleep related breathing disorders, disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep (insomnia), disorders of abnormal sleep (parasomnias), as well as disorders of excessive sleep.

Although 50% of the population has had a sleep disorder at some point in their life, most of these are temporary and generally require temporary treatment, depending on the type of disorder. Sleep disorders that are more long-standing should be evaluated by physicians who have received specialty training in sleep medicine and have a better understanding of new diagnostic and treatment approaches in all types of sleep disorders.

Types of patients who are seen in our Sleep Medicine Department:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), complex sleep apnea syndrome (CompSAS) in patients 13 years and older
  • Sleep related hypoxemia, overlap syndrome (COPD with OSA), restrictive lung disease, neuromuscular or chest wall disease with OSA, obesity hypoventilation
  • Management of patients on CPAP, BPAP and VPAP (ASV) and AVAPS devices
  • PAP: patient education, troubleshooting PAP problems, non-CPAP treatment options
  • Hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness): including narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and recurrent hypersomnia
  • Parasomnias: NREM, REM and other parasomnias
  • Restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements of sleep and wakefulness, other sleep related movement disorders
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders, including shift work, jet lag, irregular sleep-wake, free-running, advanced and delayed sleep types
  • Evaluation for driving safety
  • Evaluation and management of sleep disordered breathing in patients undergoing bariatric surgery or other major surgery
  • Miscellaneous: snoring, bruxism, nocturnal panic disorder

Signs of Sleep Disorders

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Irritability at work or home
  • Obesity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Awakening suddenly, gasping for air or choking
  • Morning headaches
  • Falling asleep while driving or working
  • Dozing off while watching TV, reading, driving, or other daily activities
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Kicking or twitching movements while asleep
  • Restless limb movements

Treatment of Sleep Disorders

There are many treatment options available for those diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Successful treatment can prevent or reverse potential life threatening complications and improve quality of life. The benefits of proper treatment include:

  • Improved feeling of well-being
  • Improved work performance
  • Improved health
  • Improved memory
  • Decreased risks for heart problems, high blood pressure, and stroke

One of the most highly effective treatments for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) via a mask worn over the nose during sleep. Pressure from an air compressor sends air through the nasal passages and into the airway. This pressure holds the airway open and allows the person to breathe normally. Oral devices are another option for the treatment of sleep apnea. These are designed to open the airway by bringing the jaw, tongue, and soft palate forward. Surgical procedures may help in removing excess tissue from the throat.

Sleep Studies/Procedures:

Sleep studies are performed at the Willmar Sleep Center.

  • Overnight sleep studies (attended in-laboratory full polysomnography)
  • Daytime studies- MSLT (multiple sleep latency test) and MWT (maintenance of wakefulness test)
  • Actigraphy, overnight home oximetry, pulmonary function testing and arterial blood gases

Dangers of an untreated sleep disorder:

  • High blood pressure
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Memory loss
  • Increased motor vehicle or work accidents

ACMC clinics offering Sleep Medicine services:

ACMC-Willmar: (320) 441-5312
(Sleep studies at Willmar Sleep Center)