If you don’t sleep well one night, it can make your whole day miserable. If you repeatedly don’t sleep well, it can make your whole life miserable. For residents of the Quincy community, there is now help close to home for those suffering from sleep problems, as Quincy Valley Medical Center’s new Sleep Clinic began seeing patients this week.
The clinic will mainly deal with sleep apnea: a condition in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops while one is asleep. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including stroke, obesity, diabetes and heart attacks. It can even increase the risk of accidents while working or driving.
The lab will also track periodic leg movement during sleep, bruxism, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep walking, sleep talking, snoring and — on rare occasions — even seizures. In the rural community, the availability of this new resource close to home will help more patients get treated for sleep apnea and other sleep-related conditions, helping residents get back to having a good night’s sleep.
The lab is staffed by a sleep technician who works with patients overnight to monitor sleeping patterns while patients sleep in the lab. Patients are connected to several electrodes, belts and a pulse oximeter while the technician monitors them with an infrared camera and microphone from a separate room. Nonetheless, the process is pain free and comfortable for patients, and the lab can work with two patients per night.