The specialized team at the Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is experienced in diagnosing and treating the full range of sleep disorders.

Personalized treatment: After the initial evaluation and tests, expert staff members design a treatment plan for each patient. This plan is based on the patient’s diagnosis and unique goals, as well the latest research and treatments available. This personalized plan helps each patient achieve the best quality sleep possible.

The center treats many sleep disorders, including:

Sleep Apnea

Snoring is a common problem and may often be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing becomes interrupted by the narrowing or closure of the airway during sleep for 10 or more seconds multiple times per night.

Sleep apnea is one of the most common problems treated by our team at the Center for Sleep Medicine.

Patients with sleep apnea may wake up suddenly with a gasping or choking sensation during the night. The disorder may: 

  • Prevent a full, restful night’s sleep
  • Decrease oxygen levels during sleep
  • Lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulties concentrating the next day

Sleep apnea treatments: Sleep apnea is most often treated with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure therapy) or similar equipment to keep the airway open during sleep. However, treatment must be individualized, as there are many options available, depending on the severity of the condition. Options include dental appliances, weight loss, surgical procedures, or positional devices which are indicated in certain cases.

Other Types of Sleep Apnea: In some cases, sleep apnea may be unrelated to snoring or airway obstruction and specialized approaches to evaluate and treat these conditions are required. Our team of experts will assist patients in the determination of the best treatment approach for all types of sleep apnea.

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Insomnia is commonly associated with difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up from sleep too early. Insomnia is quite prevalent and many adults experience insomnia at some point in their lives.

Insomnia treatments: The most effective strategy is to treat the underlying cause of insomnia. The specialists at the Center for Sleep Medicine provide a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches as needed in order to treat insomnia.

The use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is often implemented in order to help patients manage this condition. Experts also address anxiety, depression, and other behavioral aspects related to insomnia. Relaxation techniques, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and increasing exercise are also often recommended.

Medications to aid sleep may be used in specific situations, under close monitoring, to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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Restless Legs Syndrome

As many as 15 percent of Americans may experience some form of restless legs syndrome (RLS), which causes intense, uncomfortable sensations in the legs and feet before falling asleep. RLS is a common cause of insomnia and sleep disruption, as well delay to sleep onset.

There are multiple potential cases for RLS, including the use of certain medications, anemia or iron deficiency, orthopedic or neurological problems, pregnancy, and other medical conditions such as diabetes.

In some cases, movements are also presents during sleep, leading to a condition called Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD). Frequently, the quality of sleep is affected by PLMD during the night, and often patients are unaware of movements or discomfort in the extremities during sleep.

Restless legs syndrome treatments: Treatment for RLS and PLMD is individualized and may include supplements, medications, environmental changes or cognitive behavioral therapy.

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This sleep disorder causes significant daytime drowsiness. Narcolepsy is sometimes associated with involuntary sleep attacks, called cataplexy. Patients with narcolepsy often require a thorough sleep evaluation, which may include overnight and daytime sleep monitoring.

Narcolepsy treatments: Medications, targeted naps and lifestyle changes can help treat narcolepsy.

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This chronic condition is associated with extreme daytime sleepiness, despite prolonged periods of sleep at night. Patients often feel tired and irritable during the day, making it more difficult to function efficiently at work and in social situations.

Hypersomnia may be caused or related to medications, other medical or autoimmune conditions, or a sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea. In many cases, the cause of hypersomnia can not be identified – this condition is called Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

Hypersomnia treatments: Medications and lifestyle changes are used to treat and manage hypersomnia and its symptoms. 

For more information on idiopathic hypersomnia please visit the Hypersomnia Foundation.

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Circadian Rhythm Disorders

This category of sleep disorders refers to disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm, and they do not follow normal sleep times at night. These conditions include:

  • Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder — Sleep cycle is later than usual
  • Advanced Phase Sleep Disorder — Sleep cycle is earlier than usual
  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder — Sleep cycle is disrupted by work activities scheduled for the night time
  • Jet Lag — Sleep cycle is disrupted by traveling to a different time zone

Circadian rhythm disorder treatments: Melatonin, light therapy, behavioral and lifestyle changes or medications are often used to treat and manage circadian rhythm disorder and its symptoms.

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Parasomnias and REM Sleep Behavior

These conditions are characterized by abnormal behavior during the night triggered by changes in sleep stages. They are often benign. However, ensuing safety during sleep is of critical concern. In some cases, these behaviors may be transient and age-related. In others, it may be caused by medications or underlying medical problems. Examples of parasomnias include:

● Sleepwalking
● Night terrors
● Acting out dreams
● Kicking or hitting during sleep

Parasomnias treatments: These sleep disorders are often treated with behavioral modifications and medications. One of the most important aspects of treatment is to ensure safety and develop strategies to prevent injury to self and others during the night. 

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