At new Sleep Center, staff will be turning the clocks ahead, like everyone else, early Sunday morning on March 11 in service to daylight saving time.
That exercise will punctuate the end of National Sleep Awareness Week, March 4 through 12, sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). The week is dedicated to raising awareness about sleep disorders and the resources available to diagnose and treat these conditions.
Stacey Zell, Sleep Center coordinator and respiratory therapist at Northfield Hospital, said it is not normal for a person to have difficulty staying awake during the day.
“Sleepiness can be a sign of sleep deprivation, but for people who do get enough sleep it is often a sign of an undiagnosed sleep disorder,” she said.
There are some 80 identified sleep disorders, but Zell said the most common are: insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and shift work disorder.
Research is just beginning to unravel the mysterious association between sleep patterns and overall health. Sleep disorders have been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also known to play a critical role in mental health.
Bryan Hoff, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center, said sleep is a core building block for good health.
“It’s like eating the right food. The body does better with the right fuel,” he said. “Sleep seems to keep everything humming. Without the right amount of quality sleep, the body starts to experience problems such as increased appetite, difficulty focusing, and, for some, irritability.
The new Sleep Center opened in late December of last year. It features two sleep suites that offer a hotel-like experience. Each is tastefully decorated and equipped with comfortable Sleep Number double beds. The suites have private baths and business workstations. They are climate controlled and soundproof with special lighting that can replicate patients’ sleeping conditions at home. All of the testing equipment is discreetly stored behind cabinets and walls.
A referral from a healthcare provider is required for a sleep study. Most health plans cover the test. For more information, contact your healthcare provider.
Editor's note: Written by Scott Richardson, director of community relations for Northfield Hospital & Clinics