Q&A with Truman Sleep Specialist


How common are sleep disorders?

Very common. Research from the National Sleep Federation indicates more than half of adult Americans report having difficulty sleeping one or more nights a week. Sleep problems are particularly common among shift workers and over-the-road truck drivers.

What are the consequences of not sleeping well?

A continuous lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on virtually every aspect of health. Poor sleep can reduce our ability to learn, think, pay attention to details, and be productive at work. It can increase the risk of accidental injury while driving or operating machinery. Poor sleep also can affect spousal and family relationships. A few sleep disorders can even be life-threatening.

Abid Bhat, MD, is medical director of the Center for Sleep Health at Truman Medical Centers.

 What causes poor sleep?

Very often, poor sleep can be caused by a treatable medical disorder.  There are more than 80 identified sleep/wake disorders, which can cause the inability to fall asleep, to stay asleep and to stay awake during the day.   .


What are symptoms of a sleep disorder?

The following signs may indicate a sleep disorder which should be evaluated by a physician: (Oftentimes it is the bed partner who first notices the problem.)

  • Habitual loud snoring, especially when associated with pauses or snorting noises.
  • Frequent brief choking, awakening with gasping or shortness of breath.
  • Awakening with a headache.
  • Persistent sleepiness when awake or episodes of falling asleep unintentionally.
  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • An urge to keep moving the legs at bedtime or a rhythmic twitching of the legs after falling asleep.
  • Unusual behaviors during sleep such as sleepwalking.


How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

The first step usually is a visit to your primary care physician, who will refer you to a sleep specialist who may conduct a sleep study in a lab specially equipped to monitor brain waves and sleeping patterns. (Some health insurance plans allow you to self-refer for a sleep study, but most require a referral.)

The sleep study helps doctors diagnose specifically what is causing the sleep problem, and the best treatment to correct any diagnosed sleep disorder.


How are sleep disorders treated?

Most sleep disorders are treatable, some through external devices such as a CPAP machine, some through weight loss or sleep position training, some through behavior modification such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for insomnia, and some through surgery or medications.  Identifying the sleep/wake disorder is the key.


TMC’s Center for Sleep Health at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center

The TMC Center for Sleep Health staff includes board-certified sleep medicine specialists Abid Bhat, MD.; Ashraf Gohar, MD; Asem Abdeljalil, MD; Maniza Ethesham, MD; and Muhammad Farhan, MD; who offer a wide range of treatment options for individuals experiencing sleep problems.

Sleep studies are conducted in a spacious, private laboratory — most often a customized guestroom at the Sheraton Crown Center. Specially equipped to monitor sleeping patterns and brain waves, the sleep labs create a natural, comfortable setting to help patients sleep normally. The Center for Sleep Health is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.


TMC accepts most types of insurance, including Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Preferred Care Blue.

For more information about the TMC Center for Sleep Health or for a consultation, call  816-404-0848.

Truman Medical Centers is partnering with the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center  to offer sleep study patients the privacy and comfort of a first-class hotel room. The Sheraton is minutes away from TMC, a strong advantage if further treatment is needed. 

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