Sleep Statistics

• Approximately one third of a person’s life is spent asleep. 
• The Highway Safety Commission estimates that 40,000 people die and another 250,000 are injured each year due to falling asleep while driving.
• Approximately 80 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Of that 80 million, approximately 30% or 26 million suffer from sleep apnea.  
• The Department of Transportation estimates there are approximately 200,000 sleep related highway accidents each year, which averages to 550 accidents each day.  
• Sleep apnea affects 2% of adult females and 4% of adult males.  
• Approximately 25% of children between the ages of 1-5 experience some sort of sleep disorder.  These disorders can lead to  hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), excessive sleepiness, etc.  

Most sleep problems are easily diagnosed and treated. The testing process usually can be completed in one night, with the ability to go to work after the study. 

Sleep Apnea


Apnea is from the Greek word meaning “lack of air.”

It is estimated that 9% of all males and 4% of all females have some form of sleep disorder.  One of the most common sleep disorders, and potentially life threatening, is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is defined as the cessation of breathing for at least 10 seconds during sleep.  This leads to a drop in oxygen in the blood, and an interruption in sleeping patterns.  Patients generally awaken and still feel tired no matter how much time they have spent in bed.  This is known as Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), generally a “tired feeling” all the time or at inappropriate times. 

• Morning headaches  
• Loud snoring with periods of silence followed by “gasps” for air  
• Drowsy while driving  
• Memory and/or judgment problems  
• Irritability  
• Personality changes 
• Excessive daytime sleepiness

Risk Factors:

• Obesity: 20% or greater of ideal body weight  
• Large neck size: 17 inches or greater in males, and 16 inches or greater in females  
• Male gender  
• Anatomic abnormalities such as large tonsils, adenoids, small or recessed chin, jaw line, etc. 
• Family history  
• Alcohol or sedative use on a regular basis  
• High Blood Pressure 

• Diabetes


The Sleep Study

A sleep study, known as a polysomnogram, is required to establish the presence of most sleep disorders including: sleep apnea, periodic leg movements, narcolepsy, etc.

During a full sleep study the patient’s brain wave activity is monitored to determine the various sleep stages. Other measurements include eye activity, heart rate, airflow from the mouth and nose, chest and abdomen movement, oxygen levels in the blood, body position, and muscle movements.  This is all accomplished pain-free, with the use of patches and belts. 

Sleep studies are available through the Respiratory Care department. The testing is painless, risk-free, and usually takes one full night. A sleep technician watches the monitors all night to observe you and the equipment. After receiving the results of your study, your doctor will discuss them with you. The study tells your doctor many things about your sleep, including whether your air passage is blocked and whether you have sleep apnea. The sleep study can help your doctor decide which treatment options to recommend for your breathing problems.

To schedule an appointment call the Respiratory Care Department at (712) 464-4239 or (800) 262-2614 or call your family physician who will make an appointment for you.

Grievances can be reported to: ACHC139 Weston Oaks Court, Cary, NC 27513  Phone: (919) 785-1214