Archive for Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sleep lab to open in Rock Creek Medical Plaza

September 13, 2007

Sleep disorders has been a growing research field for a few years, and now one company is bringing its knowledge of them directly to Lansing residents.

PM Sleep Lab will be opening a new branch of its overnight lab that studies the sleeping patterns of patients who believe they may have a sleep disorder.

The new location will open in the Rock Creek Medical Plaza on Monday, Sept. 17, and Craig Meyer, president of PM Sleep Lab, said he looked forward to doing his part to improve the level of health within the community.

Meyer said that until recently most people thought that problems with sleep were only related to lifestyle choices. But as research develops, a significant portion of the population has come to realize it could actually be a true disorder and they have begun looking for ways to get help.

"They don't have to feel this way or put up with the pain and discomfort," Meyer said.

That's where PM Sleep Lab, which is based in Kansas City, Kan., comes into play.

Meyer said he wanted to educate people about how much sleep can affect not only the way a person feels in the short term but their long-term health as well. He said studies have found that sleeping disorders can lead to more serious disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems later in life.

Meyer's goal is to spread his knowledge of sleep disorders to the physicians in Lansing and the area. He said by educating the physicians directly, those doctors would be able to better recognize a sleep disorder when a patient comes to them with a symptom that, in the past, may have been missed diagnosed because of the lack of knowledge about sleep disorders.

Patients are recommended to PM Sleep Lab through their physicians and then that patient will spend one night at the lab under surveillance. The new location will have two rooms with beds in them where patients will stay overnight and be hooked up to monitoring devices that allow technicians to assess what sleeping patterns and irregularities they have.

Results of the sleep labs monitoring system are then sent to a board certified sleep therapist to be reviewed. From there, Meyer said, the patient could be diagnosed with any of the 84 sleep disorders that exist. Then, patients work with their physicians on a treatment that is best for them for the disorder.

Harley Metcalfe, a respiratory therapist and vice president of PM Sleep Lab, said the most common sleep disorder he sees after a patient completes an overnight session is sleep apnea.

This is a disorder where a person stops breathing briefly several times throughout the night. He said this disorder can be dangerous and, like many others, people may not even know they have it.

Metcalfe said some symptoms to look out for are if a person has a lack of energy, feels groggy, has headaches, falls asleep at work or while driving or begins snoring.

While many sleep disorders are not curable, Metcalfe said most are treatable enough to make significant improvements in the lives of the patient. An example of such a treatment is a CPAP, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and is used for sleep apnea patients to keep their airway passages open.

Metcalfe said that a device like this along with some lifestyle changes could make a big difference in a person's life. It's like the sleep lab's motto, he said, "One night, for a lifetime of better sleep."

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