Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

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Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Sleep Disorders

Sleep is a natural process we no longer take for granted. We now know that sleep quality is related to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other illnesses. Because of its importance to our well-being, proper sleep often means better health. Improving sleep has benefits for existing health disorders.

At the ECU Sleep Disorders Center we evaluate a patient’s sleep using advanced technology in a comfortable setting. Patients usually arrive about 8 p.m. and complete a normal bedtime routine before the sleep evaluation begins. Patients are observed by unobtrusive video and monitors while sleeping. No blood tests or invasive procedures are required and most people return to work the next day.

Children who have trouble sleeping because of breathing problems or other issues are welcome to our Sleep Disorders Center.

Results are reviewed by physicians board certified in sleep medicine, who will develop a program to improve sleep and reduce the harmful effects of sleep disturbances.

Sleep disorders may include:

  • snoring
  • daytime sleepiness
  • obstructive sleep apnea (disordered sleep caused by long pauses in breathing)
  • insomnia
  • restless leg syndrome
  • parasomnia (abnormal movements while sleeping)
  • REM behavior disorder (abnormal, extreme or violent movement during the phase of sleep known for rapid eye movement)
  • narcolepsy (unexpected daytime sleeping)
  • circadian rhythm disorders (interruption in normal sleeping and waking cycles)
  • jetlag, or sleep disturbances caused night-shift and irregular working hours

Conditions that maybe caused by or that may worsen due to sleep disorders:

  • breathing problems
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • impotence

A physician’s referral is needed to schedule an evaluation.