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Sleep Medicine

The Sleep Lab at Kent Hospital

The Sleep Lab at Kent Hospital has been in existence since 1991. The lab is located on Health Lane behind the main building. Enter into the comfortable waiting area where your technologist will be waiting to escort you to your bedroom for the night.

The bedrooms are comfortably appointed with double or queen beds. You will have your own private bathroom/shower and each room has a flat screen TV for your viewing pleasure. Each room is very private and quiet, opening up onto a corridor similar to a hotel.

Your sleep tech will thoroughly explain the testing procedure (sleep study or polysomnogram) to you and answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Contact Information

The Sleep Lab
Kent Hospital
455 Toll Gate Road
Warwick, RI 02886
P: (401) 736-3727

Directions
From Toll Gate Road turn into the main visitors entrance, and take the first right after the Emergency Room parking lot.

The Sleep Lab is located in the tan and green building on the left side of the roadway. Immediately past the building, a sign will direct you to the parking lot, parking is available in the lot adjacent to the building. Enter the building through the door on the left of the glass enclosure.

About the Lab

During the Study

During the course of the overnight study, sleep techs will monitor these parameters while you sleep. Once the night is over and all of the sleep parameters have been gathered and stored in the computer, the next step is to score the study. Here a technologist reviews the entire night’s study and determines the sleep stages, the number of apneas and correlates all the data.

All of the information gathered and correlated from the sleep study is now reviewed and interpreted by one of our reading physicians. They will make a final diagnosis and recommendations if needed. The report will be sent directly to your attending physician.

The sleep technologist will apply sensors and electrodes to measure these parameters:
  • Brain waves (surface electrodes on the head)
  • Heart beats (surface electrodes on the chest)
  • Eye movements (surface electrodes above and below the eyes)
  • Muscle tension (surface electrodes on the chin)
  • Leg movements (surface electrodes on the lower leg)
  • Breathing (sensors attached to the skin near the nose or mouth)
  • Breathing effort and movement (small elastic belt placed around the chest or stomach)
  • Blood oxygen levels (small sensor attached to the finger – not taken from actual blood samples)

Sleep Disorders

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the primary sleep disordered breathing seen in the sleep lab. This disorder results in apneas (cessation of breathing) of periods of 10 seconds or more, sometimes up to hundreds of times a night. The muscles inside the throat relax during sleep and the tongue and tissue in the back of the throat collapse and blocks the airway, preventing air from reaching the lungs.

  • This blockage occurs a few times a night or several hundred. The frequent pauses in breathing result in repeated awakenings throughout the night.
  • This results in fragmented, poor quality sleep, resulting in: Daytime sleepiness. Memory and concentration problems. Mood changes.
  • Family members are often the first to notice signs of sleep apnea – restless sleep characterized by heavy snoring that is interrupted by pauses and gasps for breath.
Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Intermittent uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime.

These attacks can occur while eating, walking or driving. Often experienced by narcoleptics:

  • Cataplexy - Leg, arms or face muscles suddenly become weak, normally caused by strong emotions.
  • Sleep paralysis - Inability to move for a few seconds or minutes when falling asleep or waking up.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations - Seeing things that aren’t there or having the feeling someone is in the room with you.
Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is the strong urge to move legs, often with uneasy feelings deep inside the legs as well as burning, prickling, itching or tingling and may be painful. These feelings along with the urge to move are made worse by rest, so it is hard to lie or sit. Walking or moving the legs provide temporary relief.

The urge to move the legs grows worse at night and eases in the morning. RLS makes it hard to rest or go to sleep resulting in tiredness and less energy during the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a polysomnogram?

A polysomnogram is a study which measures and records different functions during sleep. Some of the measurements taken may include:

  • Brain waves (surface electrodes on the head).
  • Heart beats (surface electrodes on the chest).
  • Eye movements (surface electrodes above and below the eyes).
  • Muscle tension (surface electrodes on the chin).
  • Leg movements (surface electrodes on the lower legs).
  • Breathing (sensors attached to the skin near the the nose or mouth).
  • Breathing effort and movement (small elastic belt placed around the chest or stomach).
  • Blood oxygen levels (small sensor attached to the finger – not taken from actual blood samples).
Why record all these things?
Disrupted sleep can interfere with one’s ability to perform daily activities. In some cases, disrupted sleep can lead to changes in one’s health. Since many factors can affect sleep, it is important to monitor a wide range of functions to pinpoint the source of the sleep disturbance.
Will the sensor devices hurt?
No. Sometimes there is mild temporary skin irritation as a result of prepping the skin for the sensor application. Also, some feel a slight sensation of warmth where the oxygen measuring device contacts the skin. These do not cause any significant discomfort.
How can I sleep with all those things on me?
Surprisingly, most people sleep very well. The body sensors are applied so that you can turn and move during your sleep. Generally you will not even be aware that you are wearing the sensors after they have been on for a short time. Our technician tries to make the environment as comfortable and similar as possible to your home surroundings, and many patients report that they actually sleep better here than at home.
Will I be given a drug to sleep?
No. In fact, we prefer that you have the same type of sleep that you have at home.
What about my usual medications that I take daily?
We expect you to take all your medications that you take on a daily basis unless otherwise directed by your physician. DO NOT discontinue any prescription medications without first talking to your physician.
What if I need to use the bathroom during the night?
All the sensors and wires are collected together in a ponytail fashion and are connected into one cable box which can easily be disconnected. All you have to do is call out loud, the technician will hear you through an intercom. The technician will come into your room and disconnect the cable so you’ll be free to get up.
What happens to the polysomnogram?
The record of your sleep will be analyzed and then interpreted by a physician on the Sleep Lab’s staff. A final report will be mailed to your referring physician within 10 - 14 days. Your doctor will discuss the results with you. It is important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss these results.

Meet the Team

Technical Director

Nancy Roman, RRT, M.Ed

Lab Technologists

Jeanne Chretien, RPSGT, CRT
Jane Venditto, RPSGT, CRT
Patricia Brownell, RPSGT, LPN
Ana Cruz RPSGT