Sleep Disorders

Our goal is to help you get a good night's sleep.


Your body needs sleep to refresh and rejuvenate. Lack of quality sleep can cause serious health and social problems. If you suspect you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to either an Affinity specialist or the Affinity Health System Sleep Disorder Lab.

Affinity Health System Sleep Disorders Labs are state-of-the-art full service sleep labs, which test patients for sleep disorders.  Affinity Health System has been providing quality care and treatment options for sleep disorders since 1994 and has labs conveniently located at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton.  Both labs are staffed with highly trained and experienced staff, which includes: board-certified sleep specialist; medical director; consulting physicians specializing in neurology, pulmonology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), and sleep disorders.

Sleep Studies

Your doctor may recommend a sleep study to determine the cause of your sleep problems. During a sleep study, you stay overnight at the lab in a comfortable, quiet room. An Affinity sleep lab nurse will attach painless sensors to your body to collect information about your breathing, brain waves and body movements while you sleep. This data is sent to a technician in another room who monitors the study.

Once the study is complete, a sleep specialist will analyze the data to find the cause of your sleeping problems.  If the sleep study indicates you have a sleep disorder, we will explain the disorder and help you understand specific treatment options. Your quality of life may improve dramatically once you begin treatment for a sleep problem and start getting enough rest.

What Are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient suffers from episodes of upper airway obstructions that occur during sleep.

The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Loud snoring 
  • Snorting or choking sounds
  • Frequent body movements during sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Weight gain
  • Depression       
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure

A new surgery is now available for patients whose sleep apnea requires advanced treatment. Click here to learn more.

Periodic limb movement disorder is a condition noted by jerking or kicking of the legs or arms that occur at regular intervals during sleep.

The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Restless legs while awake

Restless leg syndrome is characterized by an uncomfortable feeling mostly in the legs, but sometimes in the arms.  These feelings are described as: aching, creeping, crawling, pulling, prickling, tingling, itchy feeling when sitting or laying still.  These systems are more pronounced at bedtime.

These symptoms may be painful enough to stop the patient from falling asleep, going long distances when traveling, or keep you from sitting for long periods of time.

Narcolepsy is excessive sleepiness during the day with a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times.

The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Excessively sleepy during the day
  • Cataplexy or sudden loss of strength in muscles
  • Sleep paralysis or brief loss of muscle control when falling asleep or waking up
  • Hallucinations or vivid dreams when you are drowsy
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss            

Parasomnias means a person is awake enough to act out behaviors but still asleep and does not remember them.

The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Confusion when waking
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep talking
  • Sleep terrors
  • Sleep related eating
  • Head banging or rolling
  • Body rocking
  • Bruxism or grinding of teeth
  • REM Behavior Disorder or acting out dreams
  • Nighttime seizures
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations or dreaming while awake just before falling asleep

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

The most common signs and symptoms are: 

  • Excessively sleepy during the day
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling irritable

How Can You Get Help? 

Talk to your doctor or health care provider.  Your doctor will consider your medical history and your current symptoms and may even talk to your spouse or sleep partner, who can see and hear problems that you aren’t aware of while you sleep.  You doctor can make the necessary referrals, either to a specialist or to the sleep lab, for further evaluation.  If you do not have a doctor, call Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.

What Happens During a Sleep Study?

During a sleep study, you will stay overnight in a comfortably furnished, quiet room, and you are encouraged to bring your favorite pillow.  Sensors will be attached to your body to collect information about your breathing, brain waves and body movements while you sleep.  This data is sent to the technician, who is in another room monitoring the study.  None of the sensors are painful, and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible.   If you would like to visit the sleep lab prior to testing, call 1-800-242-5650.

What’s My Diagnosis and Treatment?

Once the study is completed, a specialist will analyze the data to find the cause of your sleeping problems.  If you are found to have a sleep disorder, you will be told about general health measures and specific treatments for your condition.  Many people find that their quality of life improves dramatically once their problem has been diagnosed and appropriate treatment is prescribed.

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1506 S. Oneida St
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2000

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