Do you have trouble falling and staying asleep? Are you tired of waking up just and feeling dull and exhausted? Is a health issue to blame?

More than 100 million Americans fail to regularly get a good night’s sleep, often due to circadian rhythm disorders and abnormal sleep behaviors. Sleep-related disorders can be caused by many conditions including COPD, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, hypertension, insomnia, heart failure, cardiac issues, stroke, or  obesity. Luckily, monitoring one’s sleep during an overnight sleep study is an effective means of determining what factors are causing an individual to lose sleep, and in turn help devise treatments to effectively alleviate the problem.

At MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s renovated Sleep Lab, we are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, hotel-like accommodations, and enhanced sleep study capabilities, including adult and pediatric exams both in-lab and at home. With brand-new, top-of-the-line diagnostic equipment, our sleep studies record the functions of the lungs and heart by using painless, risk-free testing.

Our large, comfortable sleep center offers privacy in a place that feels like home. Each bedroom is equipped with amenities to ensure the highest level of patient comfort, including well-appointed queen-sized beds, reclining chairs, Wifi internet access, televisions, spacious shower facilities, and complimentary breakfast.

MedStar St. Mary’s offers the complete continuum of care for sleep disorders, including an evaluation, treatment plan design, patient education, and long-term follow up. As part of the diagnostic process, each patient receives a thorough evaluation by our sleep lab medical director, board-certified pediatric neurologist and sleep specialist Temitayo Oyegbile, MD, PhD, who comes to us from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Oyegbile treats pediatric patients with neurological disorders as well as adults and children with sleep disorders.  She received her medical degree from University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin, and her fellowship in sleep medicine was with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to her medical training, she holds a doctorate in neuroscience.

Test Methods Include:

  • Nocturnal Polysonogram (NPSG) – This test is an overnight sleep study that evaluates and records the patient's physical state during sleep periods. Each study lasts about nine hours, including time to prepare the monitors. Patients generally arrive two hours before their usual bedtime.
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – This daytime "nap" study is used to measure a patient’s degree of daytime sleepiness. This test consists of a series of up to five naps during the day at two-hour intervals.

My Sleep Study is Scheduled – What to Expect:

Once the patient is settled in the bedroom, a sleep technician attaches electrodes and sensors to the scalp, face, chest, and limbs using a biological adhesive. The technician also attaches other monitoring devices to measure and record breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body movement, brain waves and eye movement during sleep. Throughout the testing, a trained polysomnographic sleep technician will continuously monitor the recordings via incoming diagnostic data and infrared cameras in a private room next door.

Our sleep center provides timely feedback of all test results and face-to-face education to ensure your questions and concerns are addressed. Dr. Oyegbile will meet with each patient to discuss the study both before and after the procedure, as well as to evaluate and schedule any follow-up treatments post-study.

How to Prepare:

  • Mimic what you normally do; follow your regular daily routine to your fullest
  • No caffeine after 7 p.m. prior to the sleep study

What to Bring:

  • Your favorite pillow, blanket, and whatever you need to be comfortable
  • Any bed-time medications, attire, toiletries, music, etc.

I’ve had a Sleep Study – Now What?

Potential Sleep Treatments and Surgery Options

Many times lifestyle and behavior modifications can help patients with sleep-related disorders. These may involve dietary changes, weight-modification techniques, relaxation techniques and other stress-reducers. When these are not effective, there are a number of non-surgical treatments that may be beneficial, including:

  • Oral Appliances – Oral appliances can be worn in the mouth at night to help quiet snoring and to treat mild cases of sleep apnea. These devices come in many shapes and styles. Some hold the whole jaw slightly forward, while others hold the tongue forward to keep it from blocking the throat. If an oral device is right for you, you will first go through a sleep study, and then be referred to a specially trained dentist for an examination and fitting. It is important to work closely with your doctor and dental professional to find the device that best meets your needs.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) –If the initial nocturnal polysomnogram shows a significant breathing disorder during sleep, such as sleep apnea, a second study is sometimes requested to evaluate the response to CPAP treatment. CPAP is a method of delivering pressurized air through a nasal mask which prevents the airway from closing during sleep. Air can then flow freely to and from the lungs. CPAP has a high success rate in treating obstructive sleep apnea, restoring normal sleep patterns, and eliminating daytime fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Bi-Level Positive Pressure – Provides two different pressure levels for breathing in and out, and may be more comfortable for patients who have had difficulty tolerating CPAP.
  • Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy for Children – Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are one of the most common causes of sleep-disordered breathing in children. Recent studies have shown that sleep-disordered breathing can actually be the root cause of behavior problems in children. Enlarged tonsils can cause obstructive sleep apnea which causes breathing to start and stop repeatedly during the night which directly affects a child’s sleep quality.

When a patient is unable to tolerate CPAP, a doctor may recommend surgery. Several surgical options can treat sleep-related breathing problems. Most surgeries make the airway larger by tightening or removing structures in the throat. Other procedures unblock the nose or reposition the jaw.

  • Pillar® Implants that stiffen the soft palate
  • Correction of a deviated septum (the thin piece of cartilage that separates the nasal cavities) or other nasal obstructions
  • Correction of obstructions in the throat and neck
  • Surgery to reduce the size of turbinates (structures inside the nose)
  • Surgery to correct a functional problem with the tongue that may be contributing to breathing problems during sleep
  • Removal of the uvula, the tonsils and a section of the soft palate (also known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). This the most common type of surgery for snoring and sleep apnea. This procedure often stops the throat structures from rattling, which causes snoring.
  • Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) or radiofrequency tissue ablation (RFTA) to shrink the back of the tongue or palate
  • Surgery to advance the jaw or chin bones in order to correct facial or throat abnormalities

For more information about our services, call the Imaging, Cardiology and Neurology Department at 301-475-6129.

Is getting a sleep study right for you?

Pediatric and at-home sleep studies are available. Physician referrals required.

Call Central Scheduling at 301-475-6399 to arrange your appointment today!