How We Treat Sleep Disorders

Studying Your Sleep Patterns

If you come to one of NewYork-Presbyterian's sleep centers for a sleep study, your sleep will be assessed in a quiet, private room specifically designed for this purpose. Examples of the sleep studies we offer include:

  • Nighttime sleep studies (polysomnography),in which you sleep in one of our sleep center's bedrooms during your normal sleep hours. Our peaceful, tastefully decorated rooms feature private bathrooms, high-definition TV/DVD, and wireless technology. Sleep technologists from our centers will assist you at night and place several noninvasive electrodes on your skin and scalp. They use sophisticated monitoring equipment to record changes in your brain activity, breathing, oxygen levels, and heart rhythm, and muscle activity in your face, arms, and legs while you sleep.
  • Ambulatory sleep tests may be performed at home and are appropriate in some cases to evaluate respiratory problems during sleep. During a visit with a sleep specialist, you'll learn how to wear a portable device at home which records data while you sleep. You will use the device for one night and return the equipment to us the following morning to submit data for analysis. Similarly, actigraphy is a wristwatch-style sleep monitor you wear for one to two weeks at home to monitor how much sleep you are getting.
  • Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWT) are daytime sleep studies performed at the sleep center under specific conditions to measure your degree of drowsiness and/or wakefulness during the day. They are usually performed following a nighttime sleep study.
  • Video-EEG monitoring may be performed independently or together with polysomnography in specific cases to detect and diagnose unusual events or activities during the night, such as seizures.

Choosing a Treatment that's Right for You

Once our team has analyzed your sleep patterns, depending on your condition, your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:

Lifestyle Changes

  • We may recommend that you change your eating, drinking, and activity habits and teach you how to relieve stress and anxiety to improve your sleep.
  • We may suggest changes to your nighttime habits and routine to enhance your sleep quality.

Medical Therapy

  • Medications are available to help you sleep better at night, prevent daytime sleepiness, or treat other conditions, including restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, or REM behavior disorder. If medication is an option for you, our team will help find the best treatment for your condition.

Special Devices – for Sleep Apnea and Breathing Problems

  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It involves using a mask connected to a hose and a small machine that generates positive air pressure to facilitate breathing during sleep.
  • A more complex system called BIPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure) supplements your breath with each inhalation. It is useful if you have sleep apnea or breathing problems related to obesity, heart failure, or neuromuscular disease.
  • Advanced devices such as Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) and Volume Assured Pressure Support (AVAPS or iVAPS) are also available in our sleep centers, to be used for specific conditions that require these methods of breathing support during sleep.

Surgical Treatment

  • If you have sleep apnea that cannot be controlled through other means, surgical treatments are also available through our collaborative program with oral and ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgeons. They may be useful for removing excess soft tissue or correct structural abnormalities that may cause breathing problems during sleep.
  • Innovative treatment with the implantation of a hypoglossal nerve stimulator is also available for select cases of obstructive sleep apnea.