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Sleep Medicine at Providence Neurology Specialists

Everyone – and every body – deserves a restful night’s sleep. Not only does sleep make you feel good – it’s good for you. The sleep experts at Providence Neurology Specialists diagnose and treat a range of sleep disorders to help you feel refreshed and stay healthy.

How We Diagnose Sleep Disorders

If you experience sleep problems, your provider may order a sleep study. A sleep study usually involves spending the night in our sleep lab, located at Providence St. Patrick Hospital.

Before you go to sleep, a sleep specialist attaches painless monitors to your body. While you sleep, the specialist tracks your heart rhythm, brain waves, muscle activity, body position, breathing and oxygen levels from another room. Our providers use this data to pinpoint the cause of your sleep disorder and create a personalized plan for care.

Sleep is Important to Physical and Emotional Well-being

There are many benefits to adequate sleep:

  • Sleep helps your body heal.
  • Sleep improves learning and concentration.
  • Sleep helps your immune system function its best.
  • Sleep improves mental health and quality of life.

Some people struggle to get enough quality sleep, which can make them feel tired and irritable. But, more importantly, they’re at increased risk for a number of illnesses and other dangers:

The Most Common Sleep Disorders We Treat

Insomnia, or the inability to fall or stay asleep, is frustrating for many. In fact, nearly 30 percent of adults suffer from this irritating problem, which can be caused by a combination of psychological, biological, medical, lifestyle and environmental factors.

Sleep/wake disturbances, like changes in your work shift schedule or jet lag, are the result of shocks to your internal clock. They’re often a short-term problem, but can definitely affect your overall well-being.

Snoring is thought by many to be harmless (and a little irritating). But, it shouldn't be ignored. Not only can it annoy your sleep partner, but it can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a more serious disorder.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing – repeatedly – for more than 10 seconds at a time during sleep. It can happen as many as 60 times per hour and deprives the heart, brain and other organs of oxygen. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) involves irresistible leg movements during periods of inactivity, such as sleep. It’s often accompanied unpleasant sensations deep in the legs. Some people describe feelings of burning, or creeping sensations like insects crawling on them. The only way they can find relief on their own is to move their legs, which can cause a disruption in sleep.

Sleepwalking and night terrors share common symptoms – including the fear of waking up somewhere besides your own bed. People experiencing these issues can seem confused or disoriented and do things automatically in their sleep, like walking around, looking for and hiding things. And they may not remember what they did when they wake up.

Narcolepsy is a rare condition involving daytime sleep attacks. It can be embarrassing and dangerous. Sometimes cataplexy – the complete or partial loss of muscle tone – and hallucinations accompany narcolepsy.

REM behavioral disorder is characterized vivid dreams accompanied by vigorous, sometimes dangerous, sleep behaviors in which patients physically, often violently, act out their dreams.

Missoula Sleep Medicine Specialists