Quality sleep is an important part of physical and mental health. In addition to keeping you rested and energetic, a good night's sleep helps prevent conditions like hypertension, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression and impaired cognitive process.
We offer leading expertise and treatment options to effectively resolve sleep disorders. Our sleep specialists bring the experience and solutions you need to identify the causes of poor-quality sleep and provide the right treatment to recapture restful, restorative sleep.
What are sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders are conditions that impair your sleep or prevent you from getting quality, restful sleep. This can result in fatigue throughout the day.
According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million American adults have a sleep disorder. Quality sleep provides the tools to function well during the day and remain healthy. When sleep is compromised, our minds, health, safety and relationships suffer.
Our sleep medicine program addresses sleep disorders ranging from common to uncommon. These include:
- Circadian rhythm problems: misalignment of sleep with society's demands, common in those who do shift work
- Insomnia: the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Narcolepsy: excessive sleepiness when not stimulated during the day
- Parasomnias: acting out dreams or performing unusual activities in sleep
- Restless legs syndrome: unpleasant sensations in the legs when resting
- Sleep apnea: pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep
Sleep disorder symptoms and risks
It's normal to have trouble sleeping sometimes. However, if you experience any of the following, you may have a sleep disorder:
- Daytime sleepiness and lack of focus
- Headaches and achiness
- Heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- Poor work performance
- Restlessness at night
- Waking feeling unrefreshed
Many different factors can cause a sleep disorder. Physical, mental and environmental factors are sometimes to blame. Other times, genetic conditions like narcolepsy can be the cause of a sleep disorder. Certain medications can also result in sleep disturbances.
Your doctor will work with you to determine the cause of your sleep disorder when creating your treatment plan.
Sleep disorder diagnosis and screening
We use the latest tools and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose sleep disorders.
Preparing for a sleep study
You will have time to change into nightclothes and get ready for bed, as you do at home. If you are male, you must wear running shorts, sweatpants or pajama bottoms. You may wear a shirt if you like, but it is not necessary. If you are a female, you may wear a nightgown, a large shirt or pajamas. Please feel free to bring your favorite pillow from home. Electric blankets are not allowed. You may also want to bring an overnight bag as you would for a stay at a hotel.
- Don't take naps during the day of your study.
- Don't eat a large or spicy meal immediately before coming in for your study.
- Don't eat or drink any food or beverage with caffeine such as coffee, tea, soda or chocolate after 1 p.m. before your study.
- Don't drink alcoholic beverages on the same evening of the study.
- Before coming to the sleep center, wash and dry your hair. Do not apply hair sprays, oils or gels. Men not having beards, come clean-shaven. It is recommended you shower or take a bath prior to coming to the sleep center. Ladies, no fingernail polish, weaves or extensions. Additionally, do not use body lotions, powders or makeup prior to the test.
- Take your medications as usual, or as your doctor has recommended.
- Bring comfortable sleep attire and toiletries.
During preparation for sleep monitoring, various small sensors will be applied to the scalp, face, chest and legs. These monitoring devices are not painful and are designed to be as comfortable as possible while you sleep. The study will be recorded digitally for later review of abnormalities observed during the study. The technician will monitor your sleep throughout the night from a nearby room.
You will be awakened at 6 a.m. The wires will be removed, which only takes a few minutes. After that, you will be free to leave. Each room has a shower you are welcome to use in the morning.
Improve sleep with Inspire
Inspire is a more convenient and less obtrusive alternative to CPAP machines. It is the only FDA approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside your body. With the click of a button, you can treat the root cause of sleep apnea.
Sleep disorder treatment
Once the cause of your sleep disorder is known, our experienced team tailors treatment to address your specific condition and challenges. Some of the commonly used recommendations include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to identify new ways to approach problems
- CPAP mask, oral appliance (mouthpiece) or surgery for sleep apnea, which could include the Inspire implantable electronic device
- Lifestyle modifications, such as healthy eating to promote weight loss, increased exercise or reduced use of alcohol
- Medications to improve quality of sleep, treat abnormal movements or improve daytime alertness
Your sleep disorder care team
Our multidisciplinary care team offers all available diagnostic and treatment options. Physicians on the team include specialists trained in:
Leading research and clinical trials
As part of one of the nation's premier academic medical centers, our care providers are committed to research and scientific discovery through the University of Kansas Medical Center. We can often include our patients in potentially lifesaving clinical trials and treatment options not available anywhere else.