Skip to main content

Getting enough sleep is vital to staying healthy.

Hospital news | Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Contact: Lindsay Huhman

Getting enough sleep is vital to staying healthy. Aside from making you feel cranky and tired, prolonged sleep deprivation can cause real health issues from mood changes to weight gain. The causes of sleep disruption are varied but a sleep study can help identify the problem.
The Sleep Disorder Center (SDC) at Capital Region Medical Center helps patients determine what’s keeping them up at night during a sleep study. The SDC has five hotel-like rooms and can conduct four studies at once and can accommodate pediatric and adult patients.

During a sleep study, specialized equipment is used to monitor oxygen saturation, EEG activity, EMG activity, respiratory effort, nasal/oral airflow and snoring. Types of tests include polysomnography, split night studies, CPAP titration studies, multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT).

There are 84 disorders related to sleep and patients are referred to the SDC for many reasons.

“We see patients referred to the sleep disorder by cardiology with a cardiac history, atrial fibrillation or heart failure; others are referred by neurology for seizure disorder or migraines,” says, Dr. Gracia Nabhane, Sleep Disorder Center Medical Director. “We also have patients referred by psychiatry for trouble sleeping, fibromyalgia, and even depression. Patients may also be referred by their ENT for loud snoring or by pediatricians for ADHD or school failures when underlying sleep disorder is suspected.”

Patients who qualify also have the option of a home sleep study. A home sleep study or home sleep apnea test (HSAT), is convenient and less expensive. The test is offered to people who are highly suspicious to have obstructive sleep apnea and who have no other comorbidities such as COPD, respiratory failure, use supplemental oxygen, heart failure or are morbidly obese. Since it is unattended, a large amount of data can be missed if a lead is dislodged or a signal is lost through the night, making the study inaccurate.

A sleep study performed in the SDC remains the gold standard evaluation for sleep-disordered breathing. The gathered information is broader, sleep stages are recorded, nocturnal seizures (periodic movement of sleep) can be diagnosed, and various parasomnias can be witnessed. In addition, in center sleep studies can also be therapeutic, as CPAP or oxygen can be initiated a few hours into the recording if indicated.

Although many patients are referred by their doctor to the SDC, a physician’s referral is not required. Patients interested in being tested can call the SDC at 632-5394.

Meet the SDC Staff:

(Pictured Left to Right)

Gracia Nabhane, MD, is the Sleep Disorders Center Medical Director and prides herself in the care and compassion we give each patient that walks through the doors. When she is not caring for her patients, she enjoys biking on the Katy Trail with her husband and before COVID she enjoyed traveling with her family. She looks forward to being able to do that again.

Rich Grisham is the newest face of the Sleep Center and has been with us for two years. We are lucky to have him as part of our team. Rich is also a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist and handles the day-to-day business in the sleep lab. His role is vital to keep things running smoothly. When not in the sleep lab, Rich can be found spending time with his wife, golfing, or playing guitar.

Debbie Pritchett is a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) and is not far behind Gene with 48 years of service at CRMC. Debbie has a great work ethic and is very devoted to the Sleep Center and her co-workers. When not working, Debbie enjoys spoiling her grandchildren, all ten of them.

Julie Abbett has been with CRMC for 11 years and is the Manager of the Sleep Disorders Center. Between studying for her Master’s Degree (graduating this May!) and spoiling her boys, she tries to squeeze in camping as much as possible with her family.

Gene Ortbals is a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) and has been at CRMC for 49 years. Gene is always willing to volunteer his time and expertise to the Sleep Center. In his free time, Gene enjoys fishing, kayaking, and spending time with his four grandchildren.