Sleep center in Waycross, Georgia

The sleep specialists in our Waycross, Georgia sleep clinic diagnose sleep disorders to help you get a good night’s rest. Sleep is essential to your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life—even your safety.

For more information about our Waycross sleep clinic, please call (912) 283-3030.

If you have trouble falling asleep, problems with staying awake or sleeping through the night, episodes of prolonged loud snoring or unusual behavior during sleep, you may have a sleep disorder. In fact, one-third of Americans have a sleep disorder.

If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to chronic fatigue and can affect how well you think, react, work, learn and get along with others. Some sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, can lead to life-threatening health issues, such as heart attack or stroke.

Our sleep specialists

Our sleep medicine department at Memorial Satilla Health is accredited with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The 6-bed sleep lab in Waycross, Georgia staffs a board-certified sleep medicine physician and polysomnographic sleep technologists who are highly skilled in:

  • Polysomnographic sleep studies
  • Titration of positive pressure therapy
  • Multiple sleep latency tests
  • Maintenance of wakefulness tests
  • Home sleep apnea tests

Common sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are treatable. At Memorial Satilla Health, we can help you find the cause of your sleep disorder and provide personalized treatment plans to help you get the sleep you need.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Attention problems

For mild cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend only lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these approaches do not improve your signs and symptoms or if your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a useful tool for sleep apnea. It is a small device that keeps the airway open by continuously pushing air through a mask while you sleep. Sleeping with the mask may take some getting used to, but eliminating snoring and the "awakenings" will allow you to get a good night’s sleep. Most patients feel better and are less tired after their first night with the CPAP machine.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both. With insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine.

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which your legs feel extremely uncomfortable, typically in the evenings while you are sitting or lying down. RLS can begin at any age and generally worsens as you age. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep and make traveling difficult.

Having a sleep study

You may contact the sleep clinic for a sleep disorder questionnaire to complete and take to your doctor. If your doctor determines that you may benefit from a sleep study, his or her office staff will schedule an appointment for you.

Nocturnal polysomnography, or a sleep study, is a non-invasive procedure, meaning that there are no needles involved and it is painless. Your overnight stay will take place in a private, comfortable room within our Waycross, Georgia sleep clinic. In order to monitor your sleep, a technician will attach sensors, also called electrodes, to your head, chin, throat, chest, abdomen and legs. Your sleep technician will monitor your sleep from another room throughout your stay.

Our state-of-the-art monitors record your reaction to sleep, including:

  • Eye movements
  • Breathing patterns
  • Lung and brain activity
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle activity
  • Blood oxygen levels

On the day of your sleep study, you should not consume any caffeinated products, such as chocolate, cola, tea or coffee after 10:00 a.m. If you are sleepy during the day, please stay active. Do not take any naps. You may shower before you arrive at the sleep lab, but do not apply body lotion or hair spray after you shower. Please bring shorts and a loose fitting shirt to sleep in, as well as clothing needed for the following day.