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Sleep Disorders

You may have a sleep problem or disorder
if you . . .

  • Snore,
  • Are always tired during the day,
  • Stop breathing at night,
  • Awaken with headaches,
  • Have indigestion or reflux,
  • Have frequent urination during the night,
  • or Have a restless, uncomfortable feeling in your legs at night

If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder

Discuss your symptoms with your family physician and ask about the Sleep Disorders Center at Mary Lanning Healthcare. If your physician feels an evaluation is needed, he or she will make arrangements for you to be tested at the Center.

If you have questions concerning the services provided by Mary Lanning's Sleep Disorders Center, Call Mary Lanning Healthcare at 402-460-5673.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Snoring may be more than a normal annoyance. If light, it may indeed be trivial. But if it's extremely heavy, it may be a symptom of a serious disorder called sleep apnea. Those with sleep apnea stop breathing again and again during sleep. These apneas last 10 to 90 seconds and may occur several hundred times a night. Symptoms of sleep apnea are excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, heavy snoring, memory loss and morning headache.

Insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep, is not a diagnosis, but a symptom of either a psychological condition (chronic depression or temporary stress), environmental condition (noise), or physiological condition (chronic breathing disorder or temporary pain). Another cause of insomnia may be the misuse of sleeping pills.

Uncontrollable sleepiness during the day may be a symptom of narcolepsy. Another symptom is muscular weakness when feeling angry, surprised or amused. Narcoleptics sometimes have terrifying dreams or hallucinations just as they fall asleep. This sleep disorder often surfaces in young adulthood and is a lifelong medical problem.

Nocturnal Myoclonus
(Restless Leg Syndrome / Periodic Leg Movements) People who have periodic leg movements during sleep may not get proper rest and feel they have either insomnia or excessive sleepiness.

Inability to Sleep at the Proper Time
Some individuals find it difficult to resume their normal sleep-wake pattern if their regular pattern has been disrupted by a shift in work hours or other schedule change. Such a disruption in their normal sleep-wake pattern can produce complaints of insomnia or daytime sleepiness.

Nightmares and Night Terrors
Nightmares are frightening dream experiences which can later be recalled and may occur at any age. Night terrors, although seldom remembered, are often accompanied by an anguished scream. Night terrors generally occur during adolescence. The causes of nightmares and night terrors are unknown.

Oxygenation Problems
While asleep, symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases often worsen. Complete evaluation of such diseases sometimes require measurement of blood oxygen during sleep.

Bedwetting, Sleepwalking and Sleeptalking
These disorders are common and in most cases, the cause is unknown. Bedwetting and sleepwalking is particularly common in childhood. Sleeptalking, usually incomprehensible and rarely of psychological significance, is common but may also be a symptom of a sleep-related epileptic seizure.

Having a Sleep Study

A sleep study is a non-invasive test that records vital signs and physiology during a night of sleep. Your first sleep study will most likely be a diagnostic study. You come to the Sleep Center in the evening. You change into your pajamas and the Technician prepares you for the study. Leads are attached to your scalp and face. Monitors are attached to your chest to monitor your heart's activity, and to your legs to monitor any leg movements you might have. We also monitor your breathing by way of elastic belts that are wrapped around your chest and abdomen and small sensors placed under your nose. A probe to monitor your blood oxygen levels is placed on your finger. Once the set-up process is complete, you are allowed to watch TV or read until you are ready to go to bed. This is the start of the test.


Make sure your hair is clean and free of hair spray, mousse, and gels. We ask that you do not take any naps nor consume any caffeine or alcohol the day of your test.

Please bring clothing to sleep in. You may also bring your own pillow.

Please bring any medication you may need that evening and/or next morning. (None will be supplied by our technician.)

Test Check-In

Please arrive at the Emergency Room Entrance at the north end of the hospital at the time requested on the evening of your study. The Emergency Room clerk will check you in. You will need to provide your insurance information as well as answer some questions. The Sleep Technologist will be notified of your arrival and accompany you to the Sleep Center.

What to Expect

You sit in a chair prepared with leads so the Technologist is able to monitor the various body functions (described earlier) throughout the night. After application of the monitors, you are allowed to go to bed, and the testing begins.

If monitoring shows significant breathing problems, additional treatment such as a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine may be used during the second half of the night.


The Technologist is not able to give results of a sleep study without a physician's permission. A physician will interpret the sleep study and the results will be sent to your physician who, in turn, will contact you, usually within two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the sleep study hurt?
No. Some of the application of the leads may cause minor skin irritation. This usually does not last more for than a couple hours to one day.

Will the Technologist cut my hair?
No. Your hair is moved out of the way for electrode application. The electrodes are removed before you leave in the morning. If necessary, small patches of skin may be shaved for application of leg and chest leads.

Will I be able to sleep with all those wires on?
Yes. Surprisingly enough, most people sleep well. As you move in your sleep, the sensors move with you.

Why record all these things?
During sleep, the body functions differently than while awake. Disrupted sleep can disturb daytime activities and sometimes medical problems during sleep involve a risk to basic health.

Is this test covered by insurance?
For most patients, it is at least partially covered by their respective policies. However, each patient should check with his or her company about the details. We will provide a description of the test if this is useful for insurance purposes.

What happens to the polysomnogram?
The record of your sleep test is approximately 1,100 pages long, and it is scored and then interpreted by a physician on our staff. The information is then used to give a diagnosis and recommended treatment. The final report is forwarded to your referring physician within two weeks.