Sleep medicine in North Florida

Sleeplessness is more than an inconvenience - it is a medical issue. North Florida Regional Medical Center is home to The Sleep Disorders Center, where our sleep specialists are dedicated to helping you overcome your sleep problems and get back to the restful sleep you need. Using sleep studies, we can diagnose and treat disorders related to restlessness and fatigue. Our expert sleep specialists will help you get the rest you need.

For more information about our sleep services, please call The Sleep Disorders Center at (352) 333-5235.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. The National Sleep Foundation says that the average adult needs eight hours of sleep per night. Despite efforts to reach those eight hours, millions of Americans still have problems feeling awake and refreshed in the morning.

At The Sleep Disorders Center, we are committed to educating our patients on the benefits of adequate sleep, the symptoms of sleep disorders and the help that is available to them.

Our sleep center offer comprehensive sleep medicine to diagnose and treat sleep disorders for adults and children. Our sleep medicine physicians are certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Alongside registered technologists and therapists, they use the latest equipment to monitor your sleep and make an accurate diagnosis for your sleeplessness.

What to expect during a sleep study

A sleep study, also known as polysomnography, is an evaluation of physical and brain activity that occurs during sleep. Brain waves, eye and leg movements, heart rate and oxygen levels are all recorded and measured during this exam. Sleep studies can confirm the type of sleep disorder you have. For example, someone experiencing what appears to be insomnia may actually have sleep apnea.

At our sleep center, you will find a home-like atmosphere designed to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your sleep study.

Accredited Sleep Center

We are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for our commitment to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders we treat

One of the first steps toward better sleep is identifying the type of sleep disorder a person is experiencing. We treat a wide range of sleep disorders, including:

  • Chronic fatigue — this condition involves ongoing feelings of tiredness, sleepiness, boredom and/or depression. This can have various causes, but it is an associated sleep disorder.
  • Circadian rhythm (sleep/wake) disorders — these conditions occur when a person's opportunity to sleep does not coincide with the body's ability to go to sleep and stay awake. This is often seen in people who work rotating schedules and experience jet lag.
  • Hypersomnia — this condition occurs when a person is sleeping too much or at inappropriate times. Sleep apnea and narcolepsy are two common causes of hypersomnia.
  • Insomnia — this condition occurs when a person is unable to initiate or maintain sleep. It is associated with daytime fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Narcolepsy — this disorder leads to excessive sleepiness, frequent daytime sleep attacks and muscle weakness triggered by emotional reactions, such as laughter or fear. It is a disorder of the nervous system and can cause vivid, dream-like hallucinations and paralysis upon falling asleep or waking up.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — this type of sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. Pauses in breathing may occur 30 times or more per hour.
  • Parasomnias — This terms encompasses a range of irregular behaviors that occur during sleep, such as:
    • Abnormal movements
    • Confusional arousals
    • Nightmares
    • Sleep talking
    • Sleep terrors
    • Sleepwalking
  • Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder — this type of sleep disorder causes a person to physically act out dreams, which are often unpleasant, using vocal noises and sudden leg and arm movements during REM sleep.
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS) — this is a movement disorder that causes an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations. People with RLS remain uncomfortable until they move their legs, and this can lead to decreased quality of sleep.

Sleep apnea

If you snore regularly or experience one or more of the symptoms listed below, you may have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. If any of the following symptoms apply to you, talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist about your symptoms.

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders we treat. This sleep disorder may result in numerous symptoms occurring while asleep or awake.

  • Sleep apnea symptoms while asleep include:
    • Excessive sweating
    • Irregular pounding or beating of the heart when gasping for breath
    • Loud, irregular snoring, snorting or gasping for breath
    • Sudden body movements before breathing resumes
  • Sleep apnea symptoms while awake include:
    • Complaints of insomnia or lack of restful sleep
    • Confusion or brief memory loss
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue
    • Frequent urination during the night
    • High blood pressure
    • Impotence
    • Irritability
    • Personality changes
    • Rapid weight gain, sometimes to the point of obesity
    • Unexplained morning headaches

Other recognizable factors that may contribute to sleep apnea include depression, diabetes and a larger than average neck circumference or other crowding of the upper airway.

Different treatment options are available depending on the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea and other health factors.

Health risks for patients with sleep apnea

If left untreated, sleep apnea may put certain people at a higher risk for experiencing:

Pediatric sleep disorders

Sleep disorders can also occur in children and result in symptoms such as:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Learning difficulties
  • Motor vehicle crashes in teenagers
  • Poor academic performance

At The Sleep Disorders Center, we treat the following types of pediatric sleep disorders:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea — In children, this is caused by an obstruction of the upper airway, most often resulting from enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
  • Parasomnias — In children, these conditions often occur during sleep or sleep/wake transitions and are characterized by undesirable movement or behaviors, including bed-wetting. Parasomnias may be present during childhood and worsen in adolescents and adults.
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS) — The symptoms of this condition are similar to those experienced by adults and include unpleasant sensations in the legs resulting in the urge to move the legs.

Sleep studies

The Sleep Disorders Center is a modern facility equipped with advanced technology and staffed by expert sleep specialists. Our center is specifically designed to diagnose and treat sleep disorders in adult and pediatric patients. We are an Accredited Sleep Center by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which recognizes our expertise in performing on-campus, overnight sleep studies and home sleep testing.

Our sleep disorder clinic aims to diagnose sleep disorders while they occur, which is while our patients are asleep. Because of this, the bedrooms in our sleep center are designed to feel like home. Our staff makes every effort to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible while they participate in a sleep study.

Prior to a stay in our sleep center, patients will be screened by a physician to determine how the sleep disturbances feel to them. During the night, our sleep technicians monitor brain wave activity, blood pressure, heart rhythms, muscle tone and movement in the eyes, legs and chest.

Patients usually spend one night in our sleep center. Afterward, our sleep staff works with patients to create solutions for their sleep problems at home.

Home sleep testing

Overnight sleep studies conducted at The Sleep Disorders Center are considered the gold-standard for sleep testing. However, we do also provide home sleep testing (HST). Patients who are eligible for HST must have a high pre-test probability of a sleep apnea diagnosis and no signs of co-morbid conditions. These may include congestive heart failure, neurological disorders and other conditions that would affect a patient's ability to use home testing equipment.

HST is only recommended for diagnosing sleep apnea. Patients with symptoms related to other sleep disorders should be scheduled for a sleep study at The Sleep Disorders Center.

While a positive HST can confirm if a patient has sleep apnea, a negative result does not necessarily rule out a sleep apnea diagnosis.

The Sleep Disorders Center

The Sleep Disorders Center is conveniently located on the campus of North Florida Regional Medical Center. Our center includes six total testing suites, including two accessible suites to accommodate patients in wheelchairs in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Each room is furnished with a queen bed, large sleep recliner and private bathroom to create a comfortable, home-like environment. Additionally, each room is equipped with a flat screen television and wireless internet.

We are here to help as many patients as possible, which is why we accept most major insurance plans. For insurance questions, please call The Sleep Disorders Center at (352) 333-5235.

The Sleep Disorders Center is located close to our main hospital campus at:

6510 NW 9th Blvd., Suite 1

Gainesville, FL, 32605

We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Free parking is available.

Additional sleep disorder resources

For more information on sleep disorders, visit the following websites: