Penny Cunningham, supervisor of the Sleep Diagnostics Center at Alton Memorial Hospital, in the sleep lab’s computer room.
ALTON — Alton Memorial Hospital has renovated some patient rooms on the first floor of the Smith Wing (the original hospital building) that are now home to the AMH Sleep Diagnostics Center.
The Sleep Diagnostics Center offers individualized treatment for patients while they sleep in private, warm and inviting rooms on Select Comfort Sleep Number beds. The Sleep Diagnostics Center even provides a private room for a patient’s caregiver, if needed.
The state-of-the-art facility is staffed by medical director Dr. Ajitesh Rai, a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine physician; board-certified sleep technicians who are registered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and Sleep Diagnostics Center supervisor Penny Cunningham.
The Sleep Diagnostics Center offers a variety of tests for narcolepsy and sleep-related breathing disorders. The center prides itself in working with individual patients to accommodate their schedules, with testing offered seven nights a week. Shift workers are also accommodated with daytime testing twice a week.
Sleep disorder signs and symptoms are common today. Complaints include: excessive daytime sleepiness, inability to stay asleep, frequent awakenings/urinating through night, morning headaches, memory problems, lack of motivation and energy, mood disorders, excessive weight gain (obesity), snoring, gasping for air and choking in the middle of the night, and/or a dry mouth. Ignoring these symptoms can potentially create more health problems, such as hypertension, and worsen the symptoms of diabetes, mood disorders, obesity, heart disease, pulmonary diseases, and many other chronic illnesses.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, affecting about 18 million people nationwide. It involves fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels due to the airway closing throughout the night. Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the apnea.
Discovering a sleep disorder is as simple as getting a sleep test. For more information, call Alton Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Diagnostic Center at (618) 463-7545.