NC Center Hoping to Make Sleep Studies More Restful


The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in North Carolina, has created a new Sleep Center. This is no ordinary sleep center. It is more like a hotel for sleep-deprived patients who need to under-go a sleep study to identify sleeping disorders.

It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans have a sleep disorder robbing them of a good night’s sleep. Without proper sleep, these Americans have increased fatigue upon waking, widespread pain disorders (such as fibromyalgia) and other health issues. Sleep Center physicians are hoping that by making the sleep study itself more enjoyable, patients will seek help more willingly.


The sleep program is accredited by the American Sleep Disorder Association and includes a “multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment team of experts in cardiology, neurology, otolaryngology, psychiatry, and pulmonary as well as polysomnographic technologists and nurse specialists.” This is in-line with other such sleep programs. What makes the Sleep Center in North Carolina any different?

Well, to start, check-in time is as early as 3 p.m.! With a fitness center and a swimming pool available, as well as award-winning restaurant on the premises, the center is very much like a hotel stay. Patients can check in, go for a swim, work out in the fitness center, eat supper and begin the sleep study at about 8 p.m. After the study is over at 6 a.m., the patient has the choice to continue sleeping, going for a free buffet breakfast, watching T.V. or working out some more before leaving.

The room is like a hotel room as well. With comfortable mattresses, private bathrooms, T.V.s and all the amenities that a hotel would offer, what’s not to like? Sleep study participants often complain of not being able to rest comfortably in a hospital setting making physicians wonder how accurate the results of the study are. If a patient has a hard time falling asleep because of the location, that may impact the results, especially if the patient typically does not have such trouble at home.

While no place is like home, setting up a sleep center such as that at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, is a sure sight better than a cold, sterile hospital environment. This is why the Sleep Center was created in order to urge more patients to get help for their sleep trouble. As more Americans develop sleep apnea from increased obesity, more deaths may result from sleep-deprived caused accidents. Those with sleep apnea often have a decrease in REM sleep, our restorative sleep state, and may increase risk for other health disorders and diseases. However, sleep apnea is treatable (either by surgery or wearing a special breathing mask during sleep called a CPAP machine). If more patients were to go for a sleep study, their conditions could be identified and treated, lowering the chances of poor health or death.