Medical experts estimate 50 million to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. But treatment is available. Jordan Hospital is poised to open a new facility that will help troubled sleepers breathe easier.
Know someone with a sleeping problem?
The chances are pretty good the answer is yes.
Medical experts estimate 50 million to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Up to 20 million of them suffer from some form of sleep apnea, a stoppage of breathing during sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and death.
But treatment is available.
Jordan Hospital is poised to open a new facility that will help troubled sleepers breathe easier.
The Jordan Hospital Sleep Center, set to open later this month in medical offices at 45 Resnik Road in the Plymouth Industrial Park, is billed as Plymouth’s new home for sleep health.
The 2,166-square foot center consists of five bedrooms where clients with sleep problems can lie back and, literally, have their problems diagnosed while they sleep. In fact, they must sleep.
Patients are first outfitted with an array of monitors that record their heart rate, breathing rate, brain activity and the like. Then, over the course of a full night’s sleep, technologists assemble and grade the results from the 16 different monitors. Doctors later review the data, diagnose problems and prescribe treatments.
Dr. Antoine Badlissi, who previously headed a sleep practice in Duxbury, is the sleep center’s medical director. Dr. Lee Corwin is assistant medical director. Dr. Mark Weiner is the center’s sleep physician. Donna Wencis is the Sleep Center’s administrator. She oversees a staff of polysomnograph technologists and respiratory therapists who conduct the overnight tests.
Badlissi said sleep problems have become more and more prevalent in his years as a physician. He attributes part of the increase to the difficult economy and the need by many to squeeze more productivity out of every day.
“Unfortunately, people use sleep as a commodity,” Badlissi said. “As they cut down on sleep, they feel sleepy and they make more mistakes.”
There are more than 70 identifiable sleep disorders, but the vast majority fall into one of three categories: insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Sleep Center testing can identify the latter two as well as the type of apnea.
Patients may never be aware they have sleep apnea. Some forms wake patients many times a night but for such short durations patients do not remember the interruption. It nevertheless prevents them for reaching the deeper stages of sleep that allow their bodies to recharge.
Badlissi said patients are often recommended for studies after complaining to their physicians about never feeling rested and finding themselves drifting off during the workday. Many more find their way into the doctor’s office initially at the insistence of spouses who complain about their excessive snoring.
Snoring is frequently attributed to sleep apnea and is often related to weight gain.
Patients taking the sleep testing arrive after dinner and get outfitted with the array of monitors. In addition to the computerized readouts, a video camera and microphone in the room records their night’s sleep. The patients are typically awake and on their way by 6:30 or 7 a.m.
The team of doctors will later meet with the patient to review the results.
In the case of sleep apnea, there are several treatments. Mild cases can first be treated with diet and exercise. More serious cases may need breathing equipment known as CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Some patients may opt for surgery to relieve their apnea.
The Sleep Center was designed by JACA of Quincy and built by Lee Kennedy Construction, the same architects and contractors who recently completed the new Breast Center at Jordan Hospital.
The rooms have been specially insulated to minimize outside noise and offer a smooth night’s sleep.