About our Sleep Medicine Center

 

Millions of Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. The signs and symptoms of sleep disorders vary greatly, and for many, their sleep-related problems go undiagnosed and untreated.

The Hallmark Health Sleep Medicine Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford offers complete care for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep disorders, and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).  AASM accreditation for sleep medicine is the gold standard by which the medical community and patients can evaluate sleep medicine centers and services.  The AASM standards for accreditation ensure the highest quality of care.

What we offer

Hallmark Health Sleep Medicine Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers complete care and services by a team of sleep medicine providers highly trained in the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep disorders.

Care is provided in new, state-of-the-art facilities with the latest in diagnostic testing and treatments. Sleep studies are offered both in-home and in-hospital in a safe and comfortable environment. Our providers work collaboratively with you and your physician to provide highly personalized care and treatment plans that include education, ongoing care management and support. By providing thoughtful treatment and management of sleep disorders, patients can experience significant improvement in symptoms and associated health risks. Download our Sleep Medicine Center brochure .

Insurance coverage, physician referral and patient liaison support

Sleep disorder diagnosis and treatment are covered by most insurance. A physician referral is required. As always, if you have questions, check with your insurance provider. Our patient liaison is happy to work with you to navigate insurance and referral requirements.

 



What are Sleep Disorders?


A sleep disorder generally is the recurring disruption in sleep patterns and habits. Signs and symptoms of sleep disorders include excessive daytime sleepiness, headache and confusion upon waking, trouble falling and staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, chronic fatigue/non-refreshing sleep, leg cramps, snoring, irregular heartbeat during the night and irregular sleep habits. Sleep disorders affect both men and women.


The Hallmark Health Sleep Medicine Center diagnoses and treats the full range of sleep disorders including:

•  Sleep apnea

•  Excessive snoring

•  Narcolepsy

•  Chronic insomnia

•  Circadian rhythm abnormalities

•  Limb movement disorder

•  Night terrors and sleep paralysis

•  Restless legs syndrome


Obstructive sleep apnea and associated risks

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most commonly known sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition. It can play a major role in increasing risk for a number of disease states including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and is associated with obesity, night-time heart attacks, drug-resistant hypertension, congestive heart failure and more.

Specific symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, excessive tiredness, someone observing you not breathing during sleep, and having or being treated for high blood pressure. Also, if you are a male age 50 or older, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30, and/or neck circumference of 40 cm (collar size 17), your risk may be greater.

Additional information about sleep disorders is available at the Health Library Sleep Center pages.

 


 

What to expect during and after your Sleep Study


You will arrive at the Sleep Medicine Center in the evening and stay overnight.  Bring comfortable pajamas and a change of clothes for the morning.  Include all the items you would take for an overnight stay at a hotel.  If you would feel more comfortable, bring your own pillow as well, but it is not needed.  You will need to bring your medications if you need to take them while you are away from home.

You will also confirm your wake-up time with the staff.  Please inform them if you have an early morning commitment.

You will stay in a private room, very similar to a comfortable hotel room suite, with a private bedroom and bathroom. 


What will happen during my stay?

When you arrive a member of the sleep medicine team will meet with you and explain the testing.  They will show you the equipment that will be used and discuss how the study works.  Feel comfortable to ask questions about the study.  Let them know about any specific problems that you might not have already discussed with your doctor.

You will have time to relax and either read or watch television.  The technologist will apply sensors to the skin of your head and body.  These small discs will be connected to a computer and record the vital signs of your sleep.  The wires are long enough so that you can move around and turn over in bed.  These are all designed to be as comfortable as possible.  The sensors may feel strange at first, but most people get used to them very quickly.  They should not be an obstacle that gets in your way of sleeping.  They will do a few tests to make sure everything is monitoring properly.  You may be asked to move your eyes, or clench your teeth and move your legs.  Once it is all set up you are free to relax until your normal bedtime.

The rooms are very comfortable and will remind you of a hotel.  It is very quiet and peaceful and most patients fall asleep quickly.  It is expected that you might not sleep quite as well as you do at home.  This should not affect the results of the study.


What if I need to go to the bathroom while I am hooked up to the sensors?

This happens quite often.  The technologist will inform you prior to the study how to reach them if you need assistance.  They will come in and unplug the wires, and you will be free to get up.  The sensors do not need to be removed.  This makes it very easy to hook your wires back up when you return back to bed.  Most people have to get up at least once during their study.


What happens after my study?

The doctor will review all of the data from your study.  These studies produce a great deal of information about your sleep patterns.  It may take up to two weeks to receive the results of your study.  A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to review the results with you.  Based on the information gathered, the doctor will discuss any treatment or follow-up evaluation that you may need.

 


 

Contact Us


We are happy to answer any of your questions and facilitate any referrals.

For more information on sleep studies, please call the Hallmark Health Sleep Medicine Center at 781-306-6366.

For physician sleep consults and follow-up questions, please call:

Meena Mehta, MD                781-306-6362

Michael Zaslow, MD             781-729-8070

 


 

Simple steps for better sleep

 

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours to function properly.  Getting too little or poor sleep can increase your risk for developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke and obesity.

Here are a few simple steps for better sleep:

•  Leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed.  Eating too much before going to bed could prevent you from sleeping well. 

•  Turn off your television, smartphones, tablets and laptops before you head to bed.  Power down to recharge!  Blue light from screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your ability to sleep. 

•  Make your bedroom all about sleep!  A comfortable mattress, pillow, and bedding will help you get a good night’s sleep.  Keep your room dark and use cool paint colors for the walls.

•  Create a bedtime routine.  Make deep breathing, stretches and other relaxing exercises part of your pre-slumber ritual to wind down and help get your mind ready to sleep.  Try to keep to same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends.

•  Avoid caffeine 4 – 6 hours before bedtime, switch to water after lunch!

•  Put your troubles aside and drift away.  Keep a piece of paper next to your bed and write down any worries of the day before putting your head down to sleep.  You will sleep better!

•  Avoid taking naps, especially in the afternoon.

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