Sleep Clinic London
Sleep Clinic // February 12th, 2020
Our London Sleep Clinic is at the forefront of diagnosis and treatment of people with sleep and related psychological or medical disorders. At 9 Harley street, our consultant led team utilise state of the art technology to promptly investigate and treat sleep related concerns from insomnia to obstructive sleep apneoa (OSA).
Due to the wide variety of health concerns that can affect sleep, our team is made up of not just doctors specialised in sleep but also physiologists, psychologists and sleep health visitors. Our team members then build a holistic view of your sleep health needs, allowing them to provide a bespoke and fine tuned treatment plan that will work best for you.
For Young and Old
There are many assumptions about sleep and health, which can at times lead to underdiagnosis of sleeping problems in children. At our London clinic our consultants review children from the age of 12 upwards for any persistent sleep concerns.
Remember that over the age of 12 around 9 hours is recommended for children to ensure they are getting adequate levels of rest.
Understanding Sleeping Problems
How we sleep is a personal experience for everyone. Sleep changes as we grow older, as does the amount each individual needs. Modern living and work life have made large changes to how we view and treat sleep.
Minor changes and upsets are becoming more and more common but in some cases this can lead to a more sustained disturbance, to both our ability to get to sleep soundly and to sleep enough.
As anyone who has suffered with poor sleep will know, feeling tired all the time makes everything harder, from being able to think clearly, manage our mood and perform our usual day to day tasks.
Fortunately, changing your sleeping habits, or ‘sleep hygiene’ under the guidance and care of one our our consultants can reverse problems that you may have been experiencing for months. The team strongly encourage good sleep hygiene to be implemented alongside any therapies we provide to give treatment the best chance of success.
One of the most useful parts of a consultation with our team is the review of sleep hygiene, which can be supported by a sleep health visit at home. It can be useful to look over our introductory list below to see what positive changes you can make right now.
- Regularity Falling asleep and waking at the same time each day promotes a more healthy sleep and circadian pattern. This means trying to avoid waking much later on the weekend after a busy week.
- Dim Light We all know by now about the effect of blue light from screens like TVs, laptops and phones on our sleep. Limiting these devices before bedtime will naturally allow melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy, to increase at night when the sun goes down.
- Comfort It may seem obvious but take an objective look at your bedding and mattress. We get so used to our surroundings it can be easy to miss when they begin to become uncomfortable. Make sure to get a new mattress if your current one is too hard or soft.
- Less Stimulants Caffeine and nicotine both stimulate the mind and keep you awake late at night. For some people who suffer with insomnia caffeine cannot be consumed after lunchtime without having a negative effect.
- Journal It has been shown that writing down our thoughts of the day and listing what we want to achieve tomorrow can help unload our brain of undue stress and worry.
- Get up If you find yourself unable to sleep or get comfortable, lying in the same way will not improve things. Get up, make your bed briefly and do something relaxing until you feel tired again. Then get back into your bed and see the difference this has made.
How We Can Help
One of our experienced sleep consultants will fully review you and your medical history as well as listening to your concerns regarding your sleep and general health. We will then be able to offer you a number of investigations relevant to any potential disorder or issue. The below list is not exhaustive but outlines the varied types of investigations available in house for our patients.
We are able to provide Overnight Oximetry testing from the comfort of your own home. This simple oxygen sleep study is designed to assess those who may be suffering from OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea).
You will need to wear a small clip on your finger whilst sleeping, which will monitor your oxygen levels and heart rate at night. Some patients may also need to wear a small cannula in their nose.
The study is usually completed in as little as one to two nights. The sleep team will then analyse the results once you have returned the monitor to our clinic. Your consultant will then advise on which OSA treatment is recommended, if any.
If diagnosed with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) you will be offered a trial of CPAP. This stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, a mask that is worn on the face overnight to ensure the proper delivery of oxygen during sleep.
The air pressure delivered by the device keeps your airway open throughout the night, making sleep more comfortable and allowing free airflow to the lungs.
PSG is perhaps the most well known sleep test. It involves a single overnight stay in hospital to measure a number of variables associated with sleep. It is non-invasive, using sticker pads to measure your brain waves, eye and muscle movements when awake and asleep.
Together this information allows your consultant to see which stage of sleep you are in at a particular time. This is often combined with information regarding your heart rate and breathing from a clip on your finger and a light band on your chest.
This may seem like a lot of sensors but the equipment has been designed knowing that the user will be trying to sleep using it. A small box can be clipped to your waist through which all the sensors attach to. The sleep team use these physiological insights to compare with what they see on a video of your sleep.
This comprehensive review of your sleep and sleep disturbance allows diagnosis of a number of different disorders, including REM, limb movement and sleep walking.
Multiple Sleep Latency tests (MSLTs)
These tests take place after an overnight PSG (polysomnography) test. Your consultant if this test will be of benefit for you as not all patients require this extra testing.
MSLTs look into your daytime sleepiness, otherwise known as narcolepsy. You retain most of the sensors from your PSG and will be given the opportunity to have a short sleep or nap throughout the day.
Treating Sleep Disorders
Prompt diagnosis of any sleep concern is usually expedited by attempts at good sleep hygiene. It is recommended that when undergoing investigations to avoid stimulants like coffee and cigarettes to give a clearer picture of any underlying concerns.
Treatment is again multifactorial based on the root cause of your sleep disturbance. In many cases you will benefit from being treated holistically by a number of our specialist sleep team members.