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How Sleep Disorders Are Treated

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Patients evaluated and treated for a sleep disorder at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital receive care from a team of specialists from a variety of areas, all with special training in sleep medicine. After the completion of the initial evaluation and testing procedures, our sleep specialists provide each patient with comprehensive care personalized to his or her individual needs.

woman with sleep apnea sleeps in bed with
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatment may include devices that support breathing during sleep, medications, surgery, and/or behavioral therapy. Examples include:

  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a mask connected to a small machine that generates air pressure slightly above the atmospheric pressure, as a treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • A more complex system called BIPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure), which supplements the breath with each inhalation, for patients with sleep apnea related to obesity, heart failure, or a neuromuscular disease.
  • Adaptive Servo Ventilation, an advanced device that analyzes the patient's breathing pattern and provides or withdraws treatment according to each patient's needs, using specific guidelines established by our sleep specialists.
  • Behavioral and lifestyle changes, such as changing eating, drinking, and activity habits and relieving stress and anxiety in order to improve sleep.
  • Medications to facilitate nighttime sleep, prevent daytime sleepiness, or treat the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
  • Surgery for patients with sleep apnea that cannot be controlled through other means. The surgeon may remove excess soft tissue that obstructs the back of the throat, or may surgically correct a structural deformity.

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