New sleep center opens at Northfield Hospital

Northfield Hospital’s Sleep Center is now open in new, expanded space, designed specifically for sleep studies.

The new center features two sleep suites that promise a hotel-like experience. Each is tastefully decorated and equipped with comfortable Sleep Number double beds. The suites have private baths and business workstations. They are climate controlled and soundproof with special lighting that can replicate patients’ sleeping conditions at home. All of the testing equipment is discreetly stored behind cabinets and walls. 

“The sleep center, with all of these enhancements, allows for more precise testing,” said Stacey Zell, a respiratory therapist at Northfield Hospital.  “The new center is more secluded and insulated from the general hum of the hospital. It will produce a more nuanced test, tailored to the patient’s condition.”

Research is just beginning to unravel the mysterious association between sleep patterns and overall health. Sleep disorders have been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also known to play a critical role in mental health.

Bryan Hoff, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center, said sleep is a core building block for good health. We don’t yet know what it does for us specifically, but we know we need it.

“It’s like eating the right food – the body does better with the right fuel,” he said. “It’s oil for the engine. Sleep seems to keep everything humming.  Without the right amount of quality sleep, the body starts to experience problems such as increased appetite, difficulty focusing, and, for some, irritability.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, anything from obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia to teeth clenching and sleep related eating disorders.

Northfield Hospital’s Sleep Center uses state-of the-art equipment and best practices to monitor sleep patterns in real time. The testing is done over an eight to nine hour period. Typically, patients arrive at the Sleep Center around eight or nine at night. A sleep study technician arranges the sensors to monitor heart rate, oxygen levels and eye movement while the patient sleeps. The technician monitors them from a workstation outside the sleep suite.

Patients are usually able to leave by 5 or 6 a.m. A breakfast bar is available for quick start to the day. The new center also accommodates daytime testing, something Northfield Hospital was not able to do before.

A referral from a healthcare provider is required for a sleep study Most health plans cover the study.

For more information about the Sleep Center, contact Zell at 507-646-1194.