|Sleeping on the job is usually frowned upon at work, but sleeping is the top job at the newly expanded and state-of-the-art Emory Sleep Center.
Located on the first floor of the Wesley Woods Health Center on Clifton Road, just off Emory University's main campus, the Center's new facility offers high-tech equipment and testing for sleep disorders. The Center has the most up-to-date diagnostic testing (mostly web-based) for sleep disorders right at the bedside.
The Center also has expanded its staff. All of the new elements equate to better and more efficient service for patients, with a shorter wait time.
The Center now can accommodate a greater number of patients in a more convenient setting. The new facility has doubled its bedroom suites from four to eight spacious rooms. The suites include full-size beds, private bathrooms with showers, televisions with DVD hook-ups, dimmer lights, ceiling fans (four rooms) and other comfortable, homey surroundings. Patients have donated some of the artwork that hangs on the walls. Wireless internet is available in all rooms.
Outpatients also can be evaluated in the Center, with half of the rooms converting from bedroom suites to exam rooms. In these rooms, the full-size beds fold up into a wall cabinet and a separate desk folds down to create a working exam room. These features allow patients to become familiar with the testing/sleeping area before coming in for their sleep study.
"We created this new sleep center to be more patient friendly, complete with a larger, more modern design, a mini kitchen for meals and snacks, and free parking in a lot just outside the door," said David Schulman, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pulmonary medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and medical director of the Emory Sleep Center. "Patient comfort and care is top priority."
Nearly 1,500 sleep studies are performed at the Center each year and more than twice as many patients are evaluated annually in clinic visits.
The Center offers multi-specialty care in sleep disorders.
"Experts specializing in neurology, pulmonology, pediatrics, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), oral and maxillofacial surgery, and nursing all work together to treat patients with a variety of sleep disorders," said David Rye, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and director of the Emory Healthcare Program in Sleep.
"Having all of these specialists under one programmatic umbrella--and many under the same physical roof--means a more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan for patients," explained Dr. Rye.
The most commonly seen sleep disorders include: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, periodic limb movement disorder and restless legs syndrome (RLS). Because more and more people are being diagnosed with RLS, the center recently has added a specialty clinic for patients who suffer with the disorder. RLS is described as a compelling urge to move or a creepy-crawly sensation in your legs at night. One day a week has been set aside for Emory physicians to diagnose and manage the care of these patients.
Recent research demonstrates that untreated sleep disorders are associated with other serious medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and depression. Sleep is vital, just as exercise and diet are vital, according to Dr. Rye. The Center team is conducting various types of research on sleep disorders in hopes of discovering more effective treatments.
Kathy Parker, PhD, RN, Edith F. Honeycutt Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory, has been named co-director of the Emory Healthcare Program in Sleep. One of the country's leading researchers in sleep/wake disturbances in hemodialysis and cancer patients, Dr. Parker is a member of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research and is an author of the IOM's 2006 report "Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem."
The center serves a wide range of ages, beginning with children as young as 10 years old. It operates seven nights a week and parking at the facility is always free, day or night.
For more information on the Emory Sleep Center or to schedule an appointment, please call 404-712-SLEEP.