Presence Holy Family Medical Center

Sleeping problems?

According to estimates, one out of three Americans has trouble falling asleep or is excessively sleepy during the day. A good night's sleep restores energy to the body and helps promote overall health. Sleep disorders not only affect your physical and emotional health, but also your appetite, your social relationships and your work performance. Although sleep disorders affect millions, many people don't recognize the symptoms. Once detected, however, sleep disorders can be treated and corrected.


What are sleep disorders?

A sleep disorder is any condition that interrupts normal sleep-wake patterns. Sleep disorders are classified into four broad categories. The first describes complaints of an inability to initiate and/or maintain sleep, i.e., the insomnias. The second category focuses on inappropriate daytime sleepiness and reduced alertness, i.e., narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Category three refers to disruptions of biological rhythms, namely the inappropriate timing of the sleep/wake system; the patient's sleep/wake schedule does not conform to socially accepted times for sleeping and for wakefulness. The last category, the parasomnias, classifies events that occur during sleep that are inappropriate, for example, bedwetting, night terrors and walking or talking during sleep.


Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Sleep apnea refers to non-breathing episodes during sleep, which can occur as frequently as several hundred times per night. Loud, irregular snoring occurs as the person attempts breathe at the end of each episode. Although the individual may have had a full night of sleep, he or she still feels tired during the day. This surprisingly common sleep disorder is an illness that can progress in severity and become life-threatening if not detected and treated. Over twenty million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Anyone at any age may develop sleep apnea.

Proper diagnosis of the severity and type of sleep apnea can only be determined by special monitoring of the individual's sleep in a sleep laboratory with highly sensitive, technical equipment.

Sleep apnea can develop into life threatening health problems. During breathing interruptions the oxygen content of the blood decreases, causing blood pressure to rise sharply and the heart to slow or stop. Sleep apnea can cause personality changes, morning headaches, hypertension, heart failure, irregular heart rhythm, impotence and even death.


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Very often a person suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of his or her loud snoring and breathing irregularities during sleep. The spouse is usually the first to recognize the symptoms. The person may only recognize that he is excessively tired during the day, even though he or she slept through the night.

Symptoms while asleep

  • Pauses in breathing
  • Loud irregular snoring, snorting or gasping for breath
  • Sudden body movements before the person starts to breath again
  • Excessive sweating during sleep
  • Irregular pounding or beating of the heart when gasping for breath
  • Symptoms while awake
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue
  • Lack of restful sleep
  • Obesity
  • Confusion or brief memory loss upon awakening
  • Unexplained morning headache
  • High blood pressure, congestive heart failure
  • Impotence
  • Personality changes, depression and irritability



Narcolepsy is also a common problem that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable sleep episodes during the day which interfere with activities at work or school. Other symptoms patients may experience are vivid nightmares or hallucinations at the onset of sleep, temporary paralysis of arms and legs when falling asleep or sudden muscle weakness during moments of intense emotional such as anger or excitement.



People with insomnia have chronic problems with falling asleep or staying asleep. This may be due to causes such as stress or depression. However, insomnia may have other causes such as breathing difficulties or involuntary muscle movements.


Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

The notable symptom of this disorder, also referred to as nocturnal myoclonus, is the repetitive kicking, jerking or flexing of arms or legs throughout the night due to involuntary muscle contractions. Patients often experience a crawling sensation or a restless feeling in the legs when first going to bed. It can lead to the inability to fall asleep and remain asleep.


The Sleep Disorders Center Can Help

Sleep Testing Room

The Sleep Disorders Center at Presence Holy Family Medical Center offers a comprehensive program for the evaluation and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other disorders interfering with sleep. We have four sleep study rooms available so that patients can be scheduled at their earliest convenience.

Each of our sleep study rooms is equipped with digital technology to monitor sleep activity. The technology features digital video monitoring of each patient, which allows for advanced data collection and accuracy in test results.

Primary care physicians may refer to confirm a diagnosis, or for a thorough sleep assessment with consultation. Your existing physician-patient relationship will be respected. We welcome the physicians continued input in the treatment of their patient. Patients may also be self-referred for physician consultation.

The Presence Holy Family Medical Center Sleep Disorders Center is accredited by the American Sleep Disorders Association and is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.



The Sleep Disorders Center is committed to excellence and accuracy while providing a "bedroom like" atmosphere for optimal sleep study. The polysomnogram will monitor EEG (brain waves), eye movements, snoring, breathing patterns, oxygen level, heart rate and muscle activity. Video monitoring may also be utilized. Other procedures may include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) titration, multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT), to look for narcolepsy and to quantify excessive daytime sleepiness. Following testing, your physician will receive a report of the study findings.



Sleep Analysis Report

The information will be analyzed and interpreted by the medical director and put into a report format that is easy to read. The results will be reviewed and a treatment plan will be devised in consultation with you and your primary care physician.



Treatment may consist of teaching sleep hygiene, medication, oral devices, CPAP or possibly surgery.


Insurance coverage

Consultations and testing are done on an outpatient basis. The cost of the sleep study is covered by most commercial insurance companies, Medicare and managed care companies. The medical center will work with the patient and their insurance companies to determine coverage.

For more information or to schedule sleep disorders services, call 847.297.1800, ext. 2080.


You Could Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea aren't aware of the condition. To see if you may have sleep apnea, take the quick test below.

  1. Do you snore?
  2. Are you sleepy during the day?
  3. Are you overweight?
  4. Do you suffer from morning headaches?
  5. Do you have high blood pressure?
  6. Do you have difficulty concentrating or feel irritable or fatigued?
  7. Is it hard for you to stay awake during normal daily activities?
  8. Do you ever wake up choking, gasping for air or have a skipping or racing heartbeat during the night?
  9. Has anyone told you that you hold your breath, snort and move often during sleep?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Talk to your family physician about your symptoms or call the Sleep Disorders Center at Presence Holy Family Medical Center at 847.297.1800, ext. 2080.


Get in Touch

For more information or to schedule sleep disorders services, call 847.297.1800, ext. 2080.

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