Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are tests in a lab designed especially to monitor your sleep.  Air flow through your mouth and nose, breathing movements, oxygen levels, and respiratory effort are all studied at one time to see how well you breath and oxygenate your blood during sleep.  In addition, your brain waves are recorded in a simple fashion to assess your level of sleep and the efficiency of your sleep.  This complex test takes an overnight evaluation but it may answer many of your doctors’ questions about how well and how healthily you sleep each night.

Physicians East operates their own sleep center. The facility, found at 1711 E. Arlington Blvd. in Greenville, is capable of performing a wide variety of sleep tests which can help diagnose a range of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. To learn more about our sleep center, visit our "Sleep Center" service section.

Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep Apnea

While you sleep, pauses in your breathing associated with low oxygen levels in your blood stream may complicate your health.  This type of problem is known as sleep apnea.  Poor waking mood, heart irregularities, and an increase risk for heart disease are all associated with sleep apnea.  A sleep study can evaluate your sleep and your health during sleep.  Please see sleep study information below for further information.


Patients  who perceive that they are not sleeping well may have several different types of insomnia.  Some individuals cannot fall asleep easily and this problem is called delay initiation of sleep.  Others may fall asleep easily but cannot stay asleep.  Some just sleep for very short periods and can’t get back to sleep.  All these problems can be assessed with a sleep study (see information below) and specific help can be offered for each of these distinct sleep problems.


Inability to stay awake despite adequate night time sleep is known as narcolepsy.  The person with narcolepsy falls asleep while awake in a sudden fashion without warning many times a day.  The ability to fall asleep so quickly is dangerous because the patient may injure themselves or others.  Doctors order a study called a Multiple Sleep Latency Study to evaluate how individual’s fall asleep during the day to evaluate this problem.

Restless Leg Syndrome

When you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs associated with weird sensation, you have restless leg syndrome.  The sensations associated with this illness are usually crawling, creeping, pulling, throbbing or itching ones that are relieved by movement.  The problem usually expresses itself in the evening or during the night.  This strong desire to move your legs affects your sleep and can lead to leg twitching.  Eliminating alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may help restless leg syndromes.  Physical therapy, stretching, and massage may help the disorder.  Regular exercise and learning relaxation techniques may help diminish these symptoms.  Medications used for this problem include dopamine agonists, dopaminergic agents, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, or alpha-two agonists.   Your doctor can help you decide the best approach to your problem to improve your sleep and eliminate your symptoms.