Center tries to pinpoint sleep disorders

New facility joins lineup
at CentraState campus

By linda denicola
Staff Writer

New facility joins lineup
at CentraState campus
By linda denicola
Staff Writer

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — If you’re still tired after what seemed like a good night’s sleep and have trouble staying awake during the day, it may be due to sleep deprivation. If you get drowsy while driving or grouchy for no reason, it may be due to sleep deprivation. If you have trou­ble focusing and are feeling depressed, that, too, may be due to sleep depravation.

There is help. Sleep disorders are be­coming a serious science, said Dr. John Whelan, clinical director of CentraState Medical Center’s respiratory department. "More and more people are being referred to sleep specialists. It is actually helping people."

In order to address the problem of sleep disorders, CentraState has opened a new Center for Sleep Disorders. The center, which officially opened on Jan. 7, was set up to help people who suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and oth­ers which require a sleep study for diagno­sis.

The 2,000-square-foot facility on the first floor of the medical center contains two bedroom suites and two additional rooms that could be made into suites in the future. Adult patients spend the night in one of the bedroom suites for a personal­ized sleep study or polysomnogram, which records sleep patterns and monitors brain, heart, muscle and breathing activity while the patient is sleeping. Each bedroom con­tains a television and a private bathroom.

According to Whelan, the center treats patients as young as 12. Teenage patients can participate in nap studies that are con­ducted during the day. He said more and more children are experiencing sleep dis­orders which may have something to do with an increase in obesity among children.A physician with expertise in sleep dis­orders then uses the results of the study to diagnosis the adult or teenage sleep disor­der and prescribe an appropriate treatment program.

Whalen explained the process. The pa­tient arrives at the center at about 7:30 p.m. and is set up with electrodes that are placed near the eyes, on the scalp and on the chin.

"We check for movement and wave forms during sleep. It helps us to score what stage of sleep the patient is in. We also measure things like the heart rate and the breathing," Whelan said.

Electrodes are also placed on the limbs because some people have leg problems, such as restless leg or periodic limb movement disorders, he said.

Although it might seem that it is hard to sleep under the circumstances, Whalen said that is not the case.

"A high percentage of people fall asleep within a few minutes. We need to watch the patient for six hours of sleep," he said.

After the study is completed, a physi­cian who specializes in sleep disorders in­terprets the results and forwards the infor­mation to the patient’s referring physician.

Whelan said that about 90 percent of the patients seen are diagnosed with obstruc­tive sleep apnea, a momentary pause in breathing that causes a person to not get a restful night of sleep.

The treatment for that condition is called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a machine with a nasal mask that delivers pressure to the air ways as the person sleeps. There is also new technol­ogy, called ByPAP, where there is a higher level of pressure when the patient inhales, and a lower level when he exhales, Whelan explained.

"CPAP is very effective. We have other things that we can offer, like nasal pillows that look like little accordions. For some patients it’s a little less restricting. Some of the newer technology has the ability to monitor how the patient is using it," the doctor said.

According to Whelan, sleep disorders can lead to health conditions like cardiac problems, stroke and high blood pressure.

For more information on the Center for Sleep Disorders, call (877) 657-5337.

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Business briefs

Business briefs

Deer Run is a new upscale neighborhood in northern Howell, comprised of 37 homes on home sites of 1 acre-plus. Preconstruction prices begin in the high $500,000 range. Deer Run will offer such Centex Homes as the award-winning Augusta Elite, the Coventry, the St. Andrews II, the Turnberry, and the Inverness. Calton Homes recently changed its name to Centex Homes. The sales center, at Monmouth Pointe, Deer Run’s sister community on Route 79, Freehold Township, is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For directions, visit the Web site

Recently, Howell’s newest Realtor opened its doors, with a gala ribbon-cut­ting ceremony, providing local residents the opportunity to learn more about their business while offering the benefits of 20 years experience in the home selling and buying market.

Blue Realty, on Route 9, part of a net­work community Realtors, is the largest independently owned Real Estate Brokerage in New Jersey GMAC Real Estate Network. With offices serving Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic and Sussex coun­ties, Blue Realty/GMAC offers highly specialized, quality service.

"We’re very excited to bring our newest office to Howell," said Charles Blumebnkehl, Blue Realty’s president. "Like each of our conveniently located offices, the Howell office can provide our clients with valuable information that will make their real estate experience pleasant and beneficial."

The office is at 2211 Route 9 North in the Regal Plaza (site of the old flea mar­ket). For more information call (732) 431-2900