Thousands of people across the region struggle with chronic sleep deficiency. The Sleep Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Neurological Institute is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Sleep Disorders Program offers a state-of-the-art facility with sleep laboratory capabilities that enable American Board of Sleep Medicine-certified physicians to undertake detailed studies to provide Patients First diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms may indicate one of several conditions, including:
- Sleep apnea: A condition in which breathing occasionally stops during sleep due to the airway closing periodically during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea) or a problem with the brain signaling to the muscles responsible for breathing (central sleep apnea).
- Insomnia: Consistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Narcolepsy: A disorder of the sleep-wake cycle that may cause periodic, extreme daytime sleepiness.
- REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder: A condition in which individuals become physically active during the REM sleep cycle when they dream. This may involve sleep talking, sleep walking and other abnormal movements while sleeping.
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome: Trouble falling asleep at a standard time, causing difficulty waking up early.
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS): Also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, a condition characterized by a need to move the legs during times of inactivity, including sleep.
- Sleep-related movement disorders: Abnormal or excessive movement during sleep, including motions with the arms or legs, teeth grinding, and restless leg syndrome.
Sleep apnea, a more serious condition, is manifested with distinct symptoms which include snoring, gasping, choking, and pauses in breathing during sleep.
Diagnosis & treatment of sleep disorders
Diagnosis of sleep disorders
Patients experiencing poor quality and un-refreshing sleep, or those who have unusual difficulty remaining awake, are first evaluated by a Sleep Disorders Program sleep consultant. This initial assessment helps determine the next steps in diagnosing and treating the patient.
Patients are often diagnosed after program caregivers conduct a polysomnogram (a sleep test) that involves monitoring several of the patient’s body functions while asleep, including:
- Sleep state
- Eye movements
- Muscle activity
- Heart rate
- Breathing patterns
- Air flow
- Blood oxygen levels
This evaluation is usually performed during an overnight stay at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Sleep Clinic, under the supervision of highly trained medical staff. However, in certain cases, testing can also be done in the comfort of the patient’s own home with the help of advanced portable monitoring.
Sleep studies use a variety of specialized testing technologies, including the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and the maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT), which help to establish reasons for profound sleepiness by measuring how long the patient stays awake under quiet conditions. Overnight or daytime sleep studies may need to be repeated several times to make an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment of sleep disorders
After a diagnosis has been reached, a Sleep Disorders Program physician will design a specialized treatment plan for the patient, aiming to restore the patient to normal sleeping patterns.
Sleep Disorders Program caregivers
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Program team is composed of physicians from the Neurological Institute and the Respiratory & Critical Care Institute. In addition, the team is supported by other caregivers, including otolaryngologists, dentists, bariatric surgeons, nutritionists, and psychiatrists.