Press Releases & Announcements

Hotel Like Sleep Center Opens

Monday, May 04, 2009 - Danbury, CT

Are you still tired when you awake in the morning? Do you experience lingering headaches throughout the day? Do you wake up frequently throughout the night? If so, you’ve probably already realized that you have a sleep disorder. But like many Americans, you either don’t know what to do or don’t want to spend your weekend in a hospital. Now, Danbury Hospital offers an easy and relaxing solution in its new Southbury Sleep Disorders Center based in the luxurious Heritage Hotel in Southbury, CT, which opened on April 29th.

“The thought of going to a traditional, clinical sleep center makes many people nervous and fearing insomnia before they step foot in the actual facility,“ said Dr. Jose Mendez, medical director of Southbury Sleep Disorders Center and board certified in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Danbury Hospital. “But the idea of relaxing in a comfortable hotel setting helps lower their guard, get them to sleep quicker and also helps us get accurate readings more expediently.”

The new Southbury Sleep Disorder Center was modeled after several other prominent institutions’ successful expansions into hotel-based settings, such as Vanderbilt and Harvard University.

“Most definitely, the quality and accuracy of the test is exactly the same as that of a hospital-based center,” adds Dr. Mendez. “Our new center is equipped with board certified physicians, certified sleep technicians and the most advanced technology, all in a comfortable and soothing setting.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2009 Sleep in America™ poll, about two thirds of respondents (64%) reported experiencing sleep problems at least a few nights a week within the past month. The most common disorders are insomnia and sleep apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing repeatedly during their sleep, due to a blockage of the airway. According to well-conducted epidemiological studies about 6% of the adult population of the US suffer from this disorder.

Dr. Mendez notes that out of the estimated 30 million adults who suffer from sleep apnea, up to 75% of them are not aware that they have the condition and have not been diagnosed.

Other disorders that frequently affect sleep include restless leg syndrome, periodic leg movements, sleepwalking and narcolepsy. Some of them require a sleep study to establish the diagnosis and start treatment.

“If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to other debilitating diseases like hypertension, stroke, heart arrhythmias and diabetes,” said Dr. Mendez. “In addition, sleep deprivation may lead to increased risk for drowsy driving, car accidents and an overall reduced quality of life, including sexual dysfunction.”

Simply stated, sleep studies are tests that watch what happens to your body during sleep to find out what is causing sleep problems. Dr. Mendez notes that the new Southbury Sleep Disorders Center of Danbury Hospital is equipped to conduct three different distinct studies, including:

  • Nocturnal Polysomnography (NPSG)- in which sensors are placed on the head and body of the patient, to measure brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through the mouth and nose, amount of snoring, body muscle movements and chest and belly movements. This type of study requires the patient to stay overnight in the sleep laboratory.
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)- during this test, a patient will take few naps after the nighttime sleep test. The amount of time it takes you to fall asleep for the naps and the sleep patterns during the naps are recorded. This test requires a patient to be at the sleep lab overnight and part of the next day.
  • Maintenance of Wakefulness test (MWT): monitors a patient’s ability to stay awake during the day.

Ideal candidates for any of the above tests include those who snore, stop breathing when they sleep, wake up gasping or choking, have difficulty failing asleep or staying asleep, don’t get quality sleep or feel excessively sleepy and fatigued during the day.

Sidney Held, an 83-year old retiree in Southbury sought out the Sleep Disorders Center at Danbury Hospital after experiencing extreme fatigue during the day. The test revealed that he had sleep apnea and he is now on a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that he only needs to update once a year with his sleep physician.

“The test has extended years to my life,” said Sidney Held. “The CPAP travels with me and I know I’ll get a good night’s rest!”

The new Danbury Hospital Southbury Sleep Disorders Center is a satellite office of the Sleep Disorders Center at Danbury Hospital and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) with board certified sleep physicians and technicians.

About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.

Danbury Hospital is ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades®, a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance five years in a row.

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