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The Sleep Diagnostic Center at NorthCrest

Sleep occupies a vital portion of a person’s life. Research shows that an adequate amount of sleep is essential for good health. Many people fall asleep at night with ease and wake up refreshed for the next day, but a large portion of the population do not get enough sleep. Up to 30 percent of the general population suffers from some form of sleep disorder. In patients with other medical problems, sleep disorders may be even more common.NorthCrest Medical Center’s Sleep Center is devoted to the diagnosis of some of the most common types of sleep disorders, those that are related to disorders of breathing during sleep.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Snoring is not always just a normal, annoying occurrence. Snoring may be a symptom of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea have pauses in breathing during sleep that end with arousal, which may interrupt a good, refreshing sleep. They may experience loud snoring, choking and gasping as they struggle to breathe again. These episodes may occur several times a night.

Often people with sleep apnea are unaware of any problem while they sleep, but awaken feeling poorly refreshed and tired. This excessive sleepiness may cause poor job performance, as well as falling asleep at inappropriate times such as during work or while driving a vehicle.

Sleep apnea, if untreated, can cause people to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain. Also, it may lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for stroke or heart attack. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor about sleep apnea.


Insomnia is the inability to sleep and/or abnormal wakefulness. Symptoms may include:

  • Depression or stress
  • Disturbing thoughts while trying to sleep
  • Waking during the night with difficulty going back to sleep
  • Lying awake for more than half an hour before falling asleep


Narcolepsy is a condition marked by an uncontrollable desire for sleep, or sudden attacks of weakness occurring during moments of strong emotions. Related symptoms and warning signs include:

  • Vivid nightmares or hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up
  • Paralysis when falling asleep or awakening
  • A feeling of ‘going limp’ when angry or surprised
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Disturbed or fragmented sleep

Sleep and Other Medical Problems

Many other medical problems may impact sleep or may be affected by sleep disorders. If you have heart or lung disease and poor sleep, you should consider talking with your doctor.

The Sleep Study

The sleep center at NorthCrest Medical Center is equipped with the most modern computer monitoring equipment and staffed by registered polysomnographers. Studies are interpreted by a staff physician with expertise in sleep disorders.

Because the goal of the sleep lab is to observe and monitor the ‘typical’ sleeping behavior of patients, each patient needs to get the best night’s sleep possible. That’s why NorthCrest has gone to great lengths to provide the comforts of home in an attractive and inviting setting. Patients may unwind as they would at home. Each patent’s room is private and equipped with a comfortable bed and private bath.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

  • Snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Choking sensation at night
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Fitful sleep (frequent awakenings)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irritability, anxiety, depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Morning headaches
  • Loss of interest (in hobbies, sex, etc.)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain

NorthCrest currently offers a sleep center for the observation and clinical diagnosis of sleep disorder patients. Some of the problems commonly observed by the sleep lab include snoring and sleep apnea.

While snoring represents abnormal breathing during sleep and is the result of a partial collapse of the air passage in the throat, sleep apnea is described as a complete or near-complete obstruction to airflow. These two sleeping problems have medical solutions. Contact your physician or NorthCrest Medical Center Sleep Diagnostic Center at 615/382-5698 to learn more about what you can do if you’re a sufferer of one of these or other sleeping problems.

Who May Benefit from a Sleep Study?

Individuals who may benefit from a sleep study are those who have chronic problems falling asleep, staying asleep at night or staying awake during the day, as well as those who suffer from excessive snoring or breathing disturbances. The sleep lab is capable of monitoring adults, adolescents and children.

Insurance & Registration

Many insurance plans cover sleep disorder testing, however, call your insurance company and verify your benefits, coverage and the need for any authorizations prior to your date of service. Then check with your physician and the hospital to make sure they obtained any necessary referrals, authorizations or precertifications for your particular insurance plan.

Also be sure to ask your insurance company if NorthCrest is within your insurance network. Using a facility outside of your insurance network, or not getting a service authorized prior to service, results in reduction of insurance benefits and additional financial expense to you. Insurance co-pays, deductibles and deposits are due to the hospital on the day of service.

If you do not have insurance, please contact our financial counselor at 615/384-1546 prior to your test in order to review financial options.

As an added service to our patients, we encourage you to preregister for your study by calling the NorthCrest Outpatient Registration Department at 615/384-1546. Please leave your name and phone number so that one of our registrars can return your call during the next business day.

Typically we ask that you leave valuables at home, but on the day of your test please bring your insurance cards along with photo identification. Insurance co-pays will be collected that evening during the completion of your registration process, which includes scanning your cards and reviewing the required documents such as the Consent for Treatment.


For additional information about sleep disorders, contact the NorthCrest Department Sleep Diagnostic Center at 615/382-5698.

Test Your Wakefulness

How likely are you to doze off during these situations?
0 = Never doze
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing

___Sitting and reading
___Sitting inactive in public
___Lying down to rest in the afternoon
___Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol
___Watching television
___As a passenger in a car for an hour
___In a car, while stopped in traffic

If you scored above 6 on the wakefulness test or experience some of the symptoms of a sleep disorder, you may have a more serious problem. Please contact the NorthCrest Medical Center Sleep Diagnostic Center at 615/382-5698 or your family physician.