Sleep Medicine

Sleep is vital to your health, safety and overall well-being. It is an integral part of healthy living, and yet it is viewed as a luxury when in fact it is a necessity. Over 60 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders, and a majority of adults experience a sleep-related problem. 

For most adults, a sleep disorder goes undiagnosed and untreated due to a general lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disorders. A majority of people who suffer from sleep disorders do not know that they have a disorder; a family member or bed partner is often the first person to notice the signs.

If left untreated, sleep related disorders may have significant health consequences. Insufficient sleep is linked to the development of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and depression. 

Tanana Valley Clinic is proud to provide Sleep Medicine, offering the diagnosis and treatment of sleep problems and disorders. Our providers are experts in the treatment of sleep disorders, and offer comprehensive clinical care and the most advanced treatments available in the Interior. We offer patients with sleep-related disorders a continuum of specialized care, from diagnostic testing and initial treatment to ongoing monitoring and management through a patient's lifetime. 

Our providers are genuinely dedicated to excellence in the field of sleep medicine, not only addressing your immediate health and sleep concerns, but putting you on the path to long-term health. If you suspect that you have a sleep-related disorder, we are here for you.

Learn more

Common Sleep Disorders

The most common sleep-related disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.

Insomnia: More than 70 million Americans suffer from insomnia. This disorder is characterized by difficulty going to sleep at night or needing a long time to fall asleep, frequently waking up at night, waking up at night and then having difficulty falling back to sleep, and waking up far too early. Insomnia becomes a chronic condition if it happens at least three times per week for three months or longer.

Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea affects roughly 20 million Americans. This disorder occurs when the soft tissues of the throat relax and collapse into the airway, blocking oxygen from reaching the lungs. Snoring is often caused by partial airway blockage, while full airway blockage may result in cessation of breathing, gasping, choking and then awakening.

Restless Legs Syndrome: Approximately 10% of the U.S. population suffers from restless legs syndrome. This disorder is defined by a strong urge to move one’s legs, causing discomfort during the day and restlessness at night. Restless legs syndrome may also be associated with another common condition called periodic limb movement, causing legs to twitch or kick throughout the night while sleeping.

NarcolepsyNarcolepsy is a neurological disorder in which a persons may involuntarily fall asleep even if they are in the middle of an activity like driving, eating, or talking. Other symptoms may include sudden muscle weakness or going limp, vivid dream-like images or hallucinations, and total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Sleep Disorder Symptoms

If you suspect that you have a sleep-related disorder, it is important to be evaluated by a sleep specialist. You may have a sleep-related disorder if you experience:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep and/or
  • abnormal movements, behaviors, and sensations during sleep
  • problems concentrating, paying attention, and remembering
  • a dissatisfactory quality of your sleep
  • extreme mood changes or irritability
  • lack of energy or motivation
  • poor performance at school or work
  • a hard time functioning during the day

What to Expect

Prior to your consultation, you'll be asked to complete a comprehensive sleep questionnaire and medical history. 

Our sleep specialist will discuss the information that you provide during the initial consultation, and will perform a physical examination of your head and neck area. Based on your symptoms and medical history, we will develop a plan to resolve your sleep concerns. If indicated, a diagnostic polysomnogram, a home sleep apnea test, or other medical tests may be recommended.

A diagnostic polysomnogram an overnight study administered by a sleep technologist at the Sleep Disorders Center. It is used to diagnose sleep apnea, tracing events that occur during each sleep cycle so as to detect any abnormalities impeding the sleep process.

If the diagnostic polysomnography determines that you have sleep apnea and would benefit from PAP therapy, a second polysomnography, called a titration polysomnogram, may be performed. This second test is used to determine the optimal settings to set your PAP device to alleviate the sleep apnea, using trial-and-error adjustments to find the right pressure that helps keep your airway open while you sleep.  

When both a diagnostic and titration polysomnography are performed on the same night, the study is called a split-night study. Obvious signs of sleep apnea must be observed during the first few hours of the sleep study so that there is enough time during the night to effectively titrate the PAP device.

Once your sleep study is performed, our board-certified physician will interpret the results of your study, usually within 48 hours. At your follow-up appointment, the findings of your sleep study will be reviewed with you and a treatment plan discussed. Your doctor will continue to meet with you as needed to ensure that your sleep disorder is resolved.

Sleep Studies

“Polysomnography” is the term used for an overnight study administered by a sleep technologist at the sleep clinic. It is considered the “gold standard” test for diagnosing sleep apnea. Most people normally go through four to six sleep cycles during the night, cycling between NREM and REM sleep approximately every 90 minutes. The purpose of polysomnography is to trace events that occur during each sleep cycle so as to detect any abnormalities that may impede the normal sleep process.

If the sleep technologist determines after the diagnostic polysomnography that you have sleep apnea and would benefit from PAP therapy, he or she will recommend a second polysomnography, called a titration polysomnography, to determine the optimal settings to set your PAP device to alleviate the sleep apnea. During the second sleep study, the settings on the PAP device are adjusted by trial-and-error to find the right pressure that helps keep your airway open while you sleep.  Titration polysomnography is similar to diagnostic polysomnography in that the same physiological functions are observed and recorded.  However, in the titration study, the patient uses a PAP device while sleeping.

TVC Main Building
1001 Noble Street
First Floor

Reception:
(907) 458-2654

Monday-Friday:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Telemedicine services available
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Viewed 5,174 times