Sleep Disorder Center

University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital
2nd Floor
501 South Union Avenue
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

We make it easier for you to get a good night's sleep.
If you are one of the 30 million Americans who suffers from sleep disorders, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent night-time wakening and daytime fatigue, The University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital (UM HMH) Sleep Disorder Center can help. There are over 84 different disorders of sleeping and waking that can lead to a poorer quality of life. Fortunately, most sleep disorders can be treated or managed effectively once your doctor knows the causes.

The Sleep Disorder Center at University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital (UM HMH) is the only hospital-based sleep disorder center in the area and the only Sleep Lab in Harford County that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The UM HMH Sleep Disorder Center is staffed by physicians who are board certified in sleep disorder medicine. They have the equipment and expertise to evaluate and conduct sleep studies.

Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep Apnea
A person with sleep apnea regularly stops breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer (an occasional stop in breathing is normal). Apnea episodes can happen from as few as five times per hour to as many as 50 times an hour. People who have sleep apnea may be at greater risk for developing high blood pressure, depression, irregular heart rhythms, heart disease and stroke.

People with narcolepsy suffer from uncontrollable sleepiness, very vivid daytime dreams, "sleep paralysis," and brief loss of muscle control that may cause falling. While narcolepsy is as common as multiple sclerosis, it is rarely diagnosed. In most cases, it can be treated.

Periodic Movements of Sleep
Up to 10 percent of the population may have regular, repeated and uncontrollable leg jerks as they sleep. Periodic limb movement disorder and restless leg syndrome result in arousals and/or disturbances in sleep. Medical treatment is usually effective.

Common Symptoms

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)
Up to 80 per cent of the individuals who fall asleep during the day have a treatable medical problem such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy or periodic limb movement disorder.

Loud Snoring
Snoring can cause poor sleep and may be the first indication for sleep apnea.

If you are one of the 35 million Americans who report poor sleep every night or most nights, there is help. About 50 percent of the individuals who report difficulty falling or staying asleep have physical causes. Medical consultation can help improve sleep in most of the other 50 percent as well.

Restless Legs, Nightmares, Sleepwalking
Most of these problems can be diagnosed and treated medically.

Sleep Evaluation
Sleep disorders are often diagnosed by physician specialists in neurology, pulmonary medicine and ear, nose and throat medicine but can be detected by your general practitioner as well. If you are having problems getting or staying asleep or experience some of the symptoms listed on this site, talk to your doctor. He or she can determine if you would benefit from a Sleep Disorder Center evaluation.

Step One
In preparation for your evaluation at the Sleep Disorder Center, you will receive a sleep questionnaire. Complete it carefully and review your answers with your partner if possible, since he or she may add valuable information.

Step Two
Your evaluation will take place at the Sleep Disorder Center. You will be interviewed and examined by our physicians who are board certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Step Three
Our physicians will determine if you should receive an overnight sleep test or polysomnogram.

Scheduling Sleep Tests
Individuals can call the Sleep Disorder Center at 443-843-5145 to schedule an appointment.

Preparing for a Sleep Test
Sleep studies are conducted at night. You will be given a wake-up time so you can plan your activities for the following morning. On the day of your sleep test, please follow these instructions:

  • Avoid alcohol the day of the study.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) after 2:00 p.m.
  • Check with your doctor if you should discontinue any medications you are taking prior to the study.
    Do not discontinue without checking first.
  • Do not nap on the day of your test.
  • Before coming to the Sleep Disorder Center, wash and dry your hair.
  • Do not apply hair sprays, oils or gels.
  • Bring an overnight bag as you would for an overnight stay at a hotel or a friend's house.

What To Expect During Your Sleep Test
Your sleep test will be conducted by a sleep technologist in our comfortable and homelike bedroom setting. The technologist, who will be in a separate room from you during the testing, will show you the equipment and explain the procedure. The specialized equipment is used to track many body functions, including brain wave activity, breathing, heart rate, blood oxygen concentration, leg and chin muscle activity, eye movement, snoring and body position. Recording sensors are placed on the skin surface to record this activity. You may have to wear a positive airway pressure device, which is a mask that fits around your nose or nose and mouth.

What to Expect After the Sleep Test
After the sleep study, our physician sleep specialists will analyze and interpret the large amount of data recorded during the study. A typical sleep study involves more than 800 pages of data. Our specialist will then directly share with your doctor the results of the interpretation and treatment recommendations if a sleep disorder is diagnosed. You will then have a follow-up visit with your physician to discuss the results.

Treatment for Sleep Disorders
Treatment varies depending on the specific disorder. For sleep apnea, treatment options include weight loss, CPAP (a mask worn at night connected to an air compressor), surgery, medication or dental appliances. For narcolepsy and periodic limb movement syndrome, medication is very effective.

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