Sleep Disorders Treated at The Lung Center at Mercy

The Lung Center at Mercy provides comprehensive sleep evaluation for patients experiencing sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can include sleep deprivation, lack of sleep or inability to sleep at all.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Needs Of Women Versus Men - Dr. Audrey Liu - Mercy

Mercy Medical Center's Dr. Audrey Liu, Director, The Sleep Center At Mercy, discusses sleep needs of women versus men. When it comes to men and women and the lack of sleep, researchers say women may be more at risk for certain health problem. Learn more at
About Sleep Disorders
It is well documented that a good night’s sleep is important to your overall health. Both quantity (number of sleep hours) and quality (minimal to no interruptions) are important factors in determining sleep wellness. A sleep disorder may affect the quantity and quality of sleep and it may impact daytime functioning. The most common sleep disorders are sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.
Symptoms & Diagnosis

Sleeping through the night without waking up is routine for most people. For others, lack of sleep, the feeling they can’t sleep at all and the feeling of exhaustion during the day can be signs or symptoms of sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is one of the more serious sleep disorders. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing temporarily stops and starts during sleeping. This is caused by the blockage of the upper airways. 

There are two types of sleep apnea - obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the breathing stops and starts due to obstruction of the upper airways. Central apnea happens when breathing starts and stops due to the brain not sending the appropriate signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Symptoms of sleep apnea may include:

  • Extreme daytime sleepiness (while sitting or driving)
  • Irregular breathing
  • Loud snoring
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in morning
  • Sudden awakenings accompanied with sore throat
  • Headaches in morning
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Sleep deprivation

To diagnose obstructive sleep apnea the doctor will evaluate your signs and symptoms and may recommend an at home sleep test. Your doctor may also refer you to a preferred sleep laboratory for additional testing. Sleep medicine specialists may administer tests to monitor your breathing during sleep. The tests for obstructive sleep may include:

  • Nocturnal polysomnography
  • Oximetry
  • Portable cardiorespiratory

Central sleep apnea patients are usually evaluated by a cardiologist or neurologist. 

Treatment Options for Sleep Disorders

Some sleep disorders may require the help of a sleep specialist.  Other sleep disorders can improve by identifying and carefully tracking symptoms and sleep patterns, and by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, stopping smoking, using nasal decongestants and not sleeping on the back.

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment options may include:

  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine
  • Mouthpiece or oral device
  • Surgery

Treatment options for central sleep apnea may include:

  • Assess associated medical problems
  • Reduction of certain medications such as Opioids
  • CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure)
  • BPAP (Bi-level positive airway pressure)
  • ASV (Adaptive servo-ventilation)
  • Additional  oxygen
  • Medications
The Lung Center at Mercy offers highly-skilled physician expertise for the treatment of a broad spectrum of pulmonary disorders, including COPD, lung cancer, hemoptysis, pleural effusions and sleep disorders.