U-M expands care for patients with sleep problems, especially those scheduled for surgery

A bed and sensors in the new Domino’s Farms sleep testing lab, ready for the next patient..

For more than 25 years, people who can’t get to sleep, can’t stay awake during the day, or can’t breathe well while they sleep have turned to the University of Michigan Health System for some of the nation’s most advanced sleep testing and care.

Now, the U-M Sleep Disorders Center has opened a new sleep clinic and testing laboratory. It greatly expands U-M’s ability to diagnose and care for all kinds of sleep problems – including those that can create risks during and after all types of surgery.

The new location, downstairs from at Lobby L of the Domino’s Farms complex in northeast Ann Arbor, joins two other UMHS sleep care locations: on the main U-M medical campus and on South State Street in southern Ann Arbor.

The new location has eight bedrooms that offer a comfortable hotel-like setting, and advanced equipment, for overnight and daytime sleep testing. Once all eight bedrooms are open, U-M will have 40 percent more capacity for sleep testing. That will add to about 6,000 sleep studies already done each year.

Near the bedrooms is a separate clinic area for patients with daytime appointments to see U-M physicians and other clinicians who specialize in sleep medicine. There will also be space where U-M’s MedEQUIP specialists can fit patients with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to help them breathe at night and overcome the symptoms of sleep apnea.

“Such patients, who snore loudly, stop breathing or gasp for air while sleeping, have a high risk of problems such as cardiovascular disease and stroke,” says Ronald Chervin, M.D., M.S., director of U-M’s Sleep Disorders Center and the Michael S. Aldrich Collegiate Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Neurology. “They also face a higher risk of respiratory emergencies when they have surgery and general anesthesia, especially if their sleep apnea has not been diagnosed or treated.”

That’s why the new site will focus special attention on patients who are scheduled to have surgery, and who have signs of sleep apnea. The site will even offer “fast track” access to patients seen by U-M anesthesiologists in their pre-surgery clinic. also at Domino’s Farms. They will be able to screen patients for sleep apnea during their pre-surgery visits, and refer them for diagnostic testing, sleep specialist consultation, and CPAP fitting within days.

U-M has been a leader in developing and validating pre-surgery screening tools that can identify patients at the highest risk of problems.

The new location is open to adult patients. The medical campus location, the Michael S. Aldrich Sleep Disorders Laboratory at the Med Inn building, will remain the focus for children’s sleep testing, while outpatient appointments are held at the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital facility.

U-M is adding additional faculty and staff to help care for patients with:

  • Many causes of chronic insomnia
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Idiopathic hypersomnia – daytime sleepiness without an obvious cause
  • Circadian sleep disorders – including delayed sleep phase syndrome
  • Parasomnias – undesirable behaviors during sleep, such as sleepwalking

U-M’s neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, otolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and anesthesiology faculty are leaders in sleep research, and often need volunteers for clinical trials that might involve overnight sleep tests at the Aldrich lab or at the Sleep and Chronophysiology Lab, a research-only sleep site with six bedrooms on U-M’s East Medical Campus that is part of the U-M Depression Center.

The U-M Center for Sleep Science, which encompasses all sleep-related care and research at U-M, is recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as one of only six Comprehensive Academic Sleep Programs of Distinction in the nation.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.uofmhealth.org/medical-services/sleepmedicine or call 734-936-9068.

Volunteers are currently needed for U-M clinical trials related to several sleep disorders. For more information search for “sleep” on www.umclinicalstudies.org.



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Written by Kara Gavin