Insufficient sleep has been declared a public health problem by the CDC: in fact, roughly 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. This is especially true for native New Yorkers, whose hometown earns its title as “the city that never sleeps” by consistently ranking at the top of the nation’s list of most sleep-deprived cities. However, the problem isn’t merely a lack of sleep, but its inadequate quality. Sleep disorders are rampant, but rarely diagnosed or treated for failure to seek medical attention. While over-the-counter sleep aids are tempting quick fixes, they come at the cost of serious side effects.
Your quality of sleep is imperative to your health, and should be treated with the same level of medical care and attention as you would pay to any other health condition. The first step to diagnosing a sleep disorder is conducting a sleep study in a specialized sleep center. Here is a look at sleep centers in New York, and what they can do for you:
What is a Sleep Clinic?
A sleep clinic is a medical facility specially designed for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. It is run by medical professionals trained in a variety of fields related to the practice of sleep medicine: neurology, psychiatry, or pulmonology. Make sure that your chosen sleep specialist has completed a fellowship in sleep medicine in addition to his/her medical degree, and is not merely dabbling in the field. If you are seeking sleep treatment for your child, you will want the sensitive care of a pediatric sleep doctor. Pediatric sleep doctors may be difficult to find: Dr. Mayank Shukla is the leading pediatric sleep specialist in New York.
A visit to a sleep clinic is not unlike your standard doctor appointment. You will first have a general consultation with your sleep doctor, where your symptoms will be assessed. From there, your doctor will refer you to the sleep laboratory, where diagnostic testing will be conducted.
How Do Sleep Studies Work?
Sleep studies conducted in the laboratory often require an overnight stay, where your sleep will be carefully monitored throughout. Certain conditions, such as sleep apnea, may have home testing alternatives. The standard sleep study is the polysomnography, which can be used to diagnose a wide range of sleep disorders: this comprehensive test measures your brain activity, blood oxygen levels, breathing patterns, heart rate, and eye and leg movement throughout the full duration of sleep.
The results cannot only be used to diagnose a pre-existing sleep disorder, but also to measure the progress of treatment once it has been started. Other tests provided should include multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT), Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing (MWT), and sleep apnea testing.
Make sure that the sleep laboratory you choose is medically-certified. A legitimate sleep clinic should be able to diagnose and treat the basic sleep disorders:
- Sleep apnea
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Restless leg syndrome
How Do You Prepare For a Sleep Study?
Fully inform your specialist of the medications you are taking, so that they can assess whether or not it may be affecting your sleep. From there, they can advise whether or not you should continue taking it as usual before your sleep study begins.
The day before your scheduled sleep study, avoid consuming any substances that may impair your sleep. This includes absolutely no caffeine, as well as other stimulants such as nicotine and sugar. Alcohol should also be avoided. Do not take any naps throughout the day.
Prior to your admission, wash your hair with shampoo only– do not use any sprays, oils, or conditioners, as these may interfere with the sensors. Pack everything you need to feel most comfortable, and alert the staff of any special concerns you may have ahead of time.
Visit the Asthma Allergy Sleep Center of New York
Give your body the rest it needs and deserves. Schedule a consultation with sleep specialist Dr. Mayank Shukla at the Asthma Allergy Sleep Center of New York today. Dr. Shukla is an experienced pulmonologist who completed his fellowship in sleep medicine at the University of Minnesota, and specializes in the treatment of pediatric patients.