Sleep Center

It is not unusual to have trouble sleeping from time to time. However, if this persists or occurs most nights, you may have a sleep problem. Sleep problems can negatively affect your quality of life, and some can pose a serious threat to your health if left untreated. If you think you may have a sleep problem, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.

After consulting with your physician or healthcare provider, you may be referred for a sleep study. The medical term for this study is ” polysomnogram” which is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that usually requires spending a night or two in a sleep facility. During this test, a sleep technologist will record multiple biological functions during sleep, such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart rhythm, and breathing using electrodes and monitors placed on the head, chest, and legs.

After a full night’s sleep is recorded, the data will be reviewed, scored, and presented to a physician for interpretation. Depending upon the physician’s orders, patients may be given therapy during the course of the study, which may include medication, oxygen, or a device called continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP.

What are some of the most common signs of sleep problems?

1. Snoring loudly during sleep
2. Stopping breathing during sleep
3. Sleeping in a fitful or restless manner
4. Feeling very sleepy during the day

If you have one or more of these signs, you may have a sleep problem. Two examples of common sleep problems are obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA ) is a condition in which you stop breathing during sleep due to a narrowed or closed airway. Narcolepsy is a condition in which you experience daytime sleepiness and may fall asleep at unexpected times, such as during work, school, or driving. These two examples and other sleep conditions may cause serious health problems and need to be properly diagnosed and treated.

Are there different types of sleep studies?

Sleep studies can be conducted during the day or overnight, depending upon which type of study is recommended by the sleep specialist to best evaluate your sleep problem. Grove Hill Sleep Center offers the following studies:

“ Overnight studies “ – Conducted at night

Basic Polysomnography: This study records several body functions during sleep including breathing, body movements,
brain activity, and eye movements.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure ( CPAP ) trial: This test is done to see how well you sleep while using nasal CPAP, a treatment used for obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA ). As you sleep, CPAP delivers air to you through a mask placed over your mouth and nose ( or only over your nose ). The air that flows into your lungs under slight pressure prevents the airway from narrowing or closing, allowing you to breathe normally and sleep well.

Split Night Study: This study is a combination of the first and second studies described above. In a split night study, you sleep part of the night without the CPAP to see what problems you may have and if you have sleep apnea, you will sleep with CPAP the rest of the night.

“ Day Studies “ – Conducted during the day

Multiple sleep latency test ( MSLT ): this study is conducted to see how sleepy you are during the day. This study is used most often to diagnose narcolepsy ( inability to stay awake during the day ) and see what might be causing your excessive daytime sleepiness.

Maintenance of Wakefulness Test ( MWT ): this test is done to see how well you can remain awake when you are in a situation that makes it easy to get sleepy.

What should I expect when I arrive?

When you arrive at the sleep center, a sleep technician will greet you and show you to a room. The technician will tape or gel small metal discs on your head and body, no needles will be used. These discs are called electrodes and will measure your brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, snoring, and muscle movements in your face, chest, belly, and legs. Your oxygen level as well as the amount of air flowing through your mouth and nose will also be measured. If you are going to have a CPAP study, the technician will help you select the mask most comfortable for you to wear during the study. After the electrodes are placed, you can relax until the technician is ready to have you go to sleep.

Your sleep and breathing will be monitored for the entire study. If you need to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, you can alert the staff and they will assist you. Your sleep tech will awaken you after the study is complete.

The Sleep Center will provide you with a list of items to bring and instructions on what to do and what not to do depending on whether the study will be conducted overnight or during the day.

What should I bring with me to the sleep study?

— Loose-fitting sleepwear if you’re having an overnight study or comfortable loose clothes for a daytime study.
— Personal toiletry items and a change of clothes for the next day if you are having an overnight study.
— Any medications you need to take.

How do I prepare for a sleep study?

— Eat your regularly scheduled meals the day of your sleep study.
— No alcohol or caffeine ( coffee, tea, soda, chocolate) for at least 24 hours before your study.
— Ask your physician if you should stop any medications before having your sleep study.
— The night before your sleep study, go to sleep at your normal bedtime. DO NOT take naps during the day of the study.
— Shower and wash your hair prior to the study.
— DO NOT use make-up, lotion, powders, perfume, cologne, or aftershave on your skin.
— DO NOT use conditioners, hair spray, or gels in your hair. Oils, gels, and sprays can interfere
with the recording by the electrodes.

What happens after my sleep study?

Your sleep study will be read by a sleep specialist and a final report will be sent to your ordering physician after the study. You should schedule a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider to discuss the results of your study and any treatment that may be needed. If the sleep study shows that you do need additional treatment, our staff will work with you and your healthcare provider to order any equipment you may need, arrange training on how to use the equipment, and schedule any additional tests if needed.

Meet our Doctor

Dr. Walid Freij is a neurologist in Selma, Alabama, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Dr. Freij currently serves as the Medical Director for Grove Hill Sleep Center. He graduated with honors and received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 30 years. He specializes in Neurology and Sleep Medicine.

Diplomate of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, March 1998
Recertified, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2008-2018
Recertified, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 11/2018
Diplomate of American Board of Sleep Medicine since April 2001

217 Broad Street
Selma, AL 36701
Office: (334) 872-8627

134 Nichol Avenue
Thomasville, AL 36784
Office: (334) 636-4885 
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