Q&A with Dr. Hooper – Answers to all your sleep questions

Hello!  We are starting a new series on our blog where Dr. Hooper will personally answer all your sleep-related questions.  Leave a comment here with your question and it could be featured!

To read more about Dr. Hooper’s background, click here.  Dr. Hooper is not a pediatrician, so we regretfully cannot cover topics geared for the under 13 crowd.  We also ask that you keep the questions general, such as , “What is sleep apnea?” and less like, “My great-aunt June snores so loud the roof shakes and today she was sleep walking, what’s her problem?”

Keeping the above in mind, ask away!

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American Academy of Sleep Medicine Reacreditation

We are proud to announce that The Sleep Center has achieved continued accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for 5 more years beginning September 2013.  Building on our decade of accredited service, we look forward to continuing to provide our patients with excellent personal and professional care.

We also received accreditation for home sleep apnea testing – one of five sleep labs in the area to do so.  Accreditation in this area is new as of 2013.  We use only the highest standards in home testing to ensure the proper population is tested.

As insurance requirements change in the coming months, we are committed to maintaining our high standards of patient care. 

Thank you for your continued support.

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We are proud to announce that beginning on November 1st, 2010, The Sleep Center will be contracted with the entire Great West insurance network! This is in addition to our contract with CIGNA.   Not sure if we’re contracted with your insurance?  Give us a call!  We verify all insurance benefits and obtain authorization if needed.

Also, we have pictures posted on our website of our new location.  Check them out!  We look pretty sharp.  Here is a preview:

Are you on Foursquare?  We are!  Visit our office for an appointment, check in, and see what happens next.

We’re working hard to make sure we provide the best care to all people who come to us.  We don’t stop caring after the testing is over.  We love sleep!!

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New and Improved

There have been some exciting changes at The Sleep Center!  We have moved, changed our name, and started fresh.  We have the same staff and accreditation.  I’m pasting our official “We’ve Moved” statement below!  Feel free to call, email, or comment us if you have any questions.

The Sleep Center

Robert G. Hooper, M.D.  Medical Director

The Sleep Center is now open to serve you and your patients.  Dr. Hooper and his staff are excited to have created The Sleep Center, working together to deliver improved service and patient care. Our previous Scottsdale facility is closed. We look forward to working with you in our new facility, The Sleep Center.

We are –

A proven, patient focused provider

We have –

A new, enhanced facility

An improved, time-tested patient care system

With –

The highest quality care

Exceptional quality service

Professional staff

Sincere and thorough attention to patients

Accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

We provide –

Patient evaluations for all sleep symptoms and disorders

Patient testing when required

Physician consultation when requested

Patient follow-up when a treatment program is established

We care for –

Sleep disordered breathing


Excessive daytime sleepiness

Sleep movement disorders

Contact Us!

The Sleep Center (for evaluations and testing) – 480 767 8811

Dr. Hooper (for consultations) – 480 657 8800

Web – http://www.thesleepcenteraz.com

Email – thesleepcenter@thesleepcenteraz.com

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Snoring, more serious than you may think.

There are many incorrect beliefs regarding snoring, including that it is a common occurrence.  Snoring can be more than an obnoxious sound for a bed partner; it can be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is fatal in some cases, and therefore is extremely important to treat.  If snoring is present with excessive daytime tiredness, sleep apnea may be the cause.

Snoring is to sleep apnea as coughing is to pneumonia.  It is a symptom that is present in most cases of obstructive sleep apnea, just as most people with pneumonia also have a cough.  Snoring should always be evaluated to make sure it isn’t caused by obstructive sleep apnea.  If you have a snorer in your life, encourage that person to get tested.  You could save his or her life!

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What is a MSLT, you ask?

So your doctor ordered a MSLT…what in the world is that?

A MSLT is a Multiple Sleep Latency Test performed in a sleep center.  It is a series of nap sessions that are scheduled two hours apart.  During each nap session you are given 20 minutes to fall asleep.  If you don’t fall asleep, the session ends.  If you do fall asleep, you are allowed to sleep for 15 minutes before the sleep technician wakes you up.   You may have four or five nap sessions, depending on what happens during your naps (see below for more details).  Between naps, you can watch TV, read a book, work on the computer, etc.  You won’t be allowed to have any caffeine during the day of the MSLT and if you take any stimulant medication (Adderall, Provigil, etc.) your physician will ask you to stop taking it for a couple of days before the test.  At our lab, we provide a continental breakfast and let you choose a lunch from one of the restaurants near us.

According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines, a MSLT must follow an overnight study.   Basically, your time commitment is one overnight study (at our lab that begins between 8:15 and 8:45 p.m.) followed by a day of napping (at our lab studies end around 3:00 p.m. when four naps are done and around 5:00 p.m. when 5 naps are done).  Not so terrible, right?  The downsides are that you will most likely need to miss a day of work and you will have wires attached to your head for the duration of the day.  (The wires are electrodes that measure your brain waves.  The brain waves tell the sleep technician what stage of sleep you are in).

So what’s the point?  A MSLT is performed when a doctor suspects narcolepsy or to prove excessive daytime tiredness.  Narcolepsy is diagnosed when REM sleep occurs in two or more nap sessions and other diagnostic symptoms are present (sleep paralysis, vivid dreams when waking up or falling asleep, weakness with strong emotion).   Because two nap sessions with REM sleep are required for a diagnosis of narcolepsy, you may need to stay for a 5th nap session if you have REM sleep in only one of the first four nap sessions.  We need to give you every opportunity to have a second REM session to confirm the presence of narcolepsy.  This is usually the only situation in which you would need to stay for a 5th nap.  The sleep technician is not permitted to tell you if you fell asleep, if REM sleep was present, or anything else about what you did during the nap session.  Excessive daytime sleepiness may need to be confirmed before your insurance will cover prescribed stimulant medication such as Provigil.  The most reliable indicator of sleepiness is how long it takes you to fall asleep during each nap session (called the mean sleep onset latency).

A few days after the MSLT, your physician will go over the results with you in his/her office and make appropriate recommendations.

And that is a MSLT.  Naps, free lunch…could it get any better?

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Sleepy Sleepersons, Part 1

Check out this little guy!

Such a little cutie patootie.

Don’t you wish you could still sleep like that?  Oh to be a kid again…

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Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Excessive sleepiness, tiredness and daytime fatigue are common problems.  While many medical conditions result in these complaints, a simple one is often overlooked, medications. Prescription medications and over the counter products can result in excessive sleepiness.  A new medication or a change in a dosage may produce the symptoms.  It might be related to something just taken or taken hours before the symptoms develop.

If you are sleepy, check your medication and consult your physician, or you may end up like this:

Just kidding.  Excessive daytime sleepiness is a serious issue that affects your personal life, your productivity at work, your ability to drive, and multiple other areas.

If you want to gauge how excessively tired you are, try filling out the Epworth sleepiness scale below.  This scale gives you 8 situations (i.e. sitting inactive in a public place, lying down to rest, driving, etc.) and you rate how likely you are to fall asleep using a scale from zero to three.  You can have a maximum score of 24, but anything over 10 is considered abnormal.  If you have a high score, strongly consider consulting a physician.  A physician will be able to help you determine the cause of your sleepiness and figure out the best way to treat it (if treatment is indicated).

Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = would never doze or sleep.
1 = slight chance of dozing or sleeping
2 = moderate chance of dozing or sleeping
3 = high chance of dozing or sleeping
Situation Chance of Dozing or Sleeping
Sitting and reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public place
Being a passenger in a motor vehicle for an hour or more
Lying down in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch (no alcohol)
Stopped for a few minutes in traffic
while driving
Total score (add the scores up)
(This is your Epworth score)
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Hello world!

Here begin our adventures in sleep!

To Sleep: Perchance to Dream.

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