Sleep Center at Eastern
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Cancer and Sleeplessness
Do you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping soundly? According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 45 percent of cancer patients experience sleep problems.
The Sleep Center at Eastern
Sleep problems can lead to fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, anxiety and depression. Poor sleep can also make other cancer-related symptoms, like pain, worse, and ultimately interfere with your ability to tolerate cancer treatment.
The Sleep Center at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern) provides you and your caregivers with the opportunity to treat sleep disorders so you can get the rest you need to fight the disease.
Located on the 5th floor of the hospital, the Sleep Center is a full-service sleep lab led by Dr. David Visco, FCCO, a Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Specialist.
What’s Involved in the Sleep Study?
As of October 2011, over 125 patients have already taken part in the on-site sleep study at Eastern’s Sleep Center. To determine if you’re a candidate for the sleep study, you’ll first have a consultation, which includes a written sleep scale test.
If you’re a candidate, your doctor will perform a brief medical exam and review your medical history and daily routine. Then, you’ll stay overnight in a private, deluxe sleep suite. Our sleep suites are designed for your comfort, with a queen bed, private bathroom and flat screen television.
During your overnight stay, a specially-trained technologist will apply sensors to your body and monitor your progress continuously throughout the night. The digital monitoring devices record your level of sleep and measure brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen levels and more.
Diagnosing Sleep Disorders
After your overnight stay, Dr. Visco will interpret the results, including the type and cause of your sleep condition.
There are over 90 sleep disorders listed in the latest edition of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD). Some common sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia (inability to fall asleep and stay asleep)
- Sleep apnea (sleep-disordered breathing)
- Restless legs syndrome
- Excessive sleepiness
- Disorders of the sleep-wake cycle
- Partial waking
Sleep disturbances may be caused by the effects of tumor growth, certain cancer treatments and medications (e.g., opioids), and/or treatment-related side effects, (e.g., pain, shortness of breath, GI disturbances, hot flashes, anxiety, depression, etc.).
Treating Sleep Disorders
After the sleep study is complete, you and your doctor will evaluate the results and discuss your treatment options. Treatment of sleep disturbances may involve a combination of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches.
Sometimes treating the cancer itself and/or treatment-related side effects resolves the sleep problem. Your doctor may also adjust your medications or treatment regime.
Other treatment options may include cognitive behavior therapy, stimulus control therapy, ventilation therapy, relaxation techniques, naturopathic therapies, and lifestyle changes (e.g., establishing a sleep routine, changing sleep environment/habits, managing stress, anxiety and fatigue).