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Methodist Healthcare

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders refer to changes in sleep patterns that can affect the amount, timing and quality of sleep you receive. They can also be related to mental health issues. Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Sleep centers in San Antonio

When a good night's rest seems out of reach, our sleep specialists are eager to help.

With five sleep centers in the San Antonio area, Methodist Healthcare makes it easy to access high-quality diagnostic tools and treatments. We customize your treatment plan to your needs and may include psychological, behavioral and medicinal therapies. Our goal is to restore your restful nights.

The highly trained sleep specialists at Methodist Healthcare provide quality care and treatment options for several types of sleep disorders so you can get the rest you need.

To learn more about our sleep centers, call the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

Should I participate in a study?

A sleep study is a non-invasive overnight exam conducted while a person sleeps. It monitors brain activity and body functions, including eye movements, body positions, heart rates and rhythms, blood pressure level and oxygen saturation levels.

A sleep study is conducted when a physician needs more conclusive evidence that a person has a sleep disorder. In order to have a sleep study performed, the patient stays overnight in a sleep lab. Sleep technicians are onsite in a nearby monitoring room.

Before the patient goes to bed, a technician attaches small sensors with thin wires to the scalp and secures other sensors to the chest and abdominal areas. These sensors detect activity in the brain and body and transmit this activity to a computer that continuously records the activity while the patient is sleeping.

A physician certified in sleep medicine interprets the computer's recordings and issues a report that is sent to the patient's referring physician.

Sleep center locations

Methodist Healthcare's sleep centers are dedicated to helping patients in the San Antonio area obtain healthy sleeping habits. From diagnosis to treatment, our sleep center physicians are trained to evaluate and determine your specific sleep issues through our comprehensive sleep studies.

You can receive treatment for sleep disorders at the following Methodist Healthcare Hospitals:

Sleep disorder types

Our goal is to restore quality of life to patients experiencing issues from sleep disorders. The Methodist Healthcare sleep centers in San Antonio conduct a variety of diagnostic tests using the latest medical technology to assist sleep disorder specialists in the evaluation and treatment of various sleep disorders.

Most sleep disorders are diagnosed with a detailed medical history, a physical exam and sleep studies. Treatment is customized for your needs and can include psychological, behavioral and medicinal options.


Are you experiencing constant difficulty falling or staying asleep? If you feel you don't receive quality rest and it affects your energy or personality throughout your day, you may have insomnia. Insomnia is not a disease—it is often a symptom of an underlying problem.

Short-term insomnia is typically the result of temporary factors, such as stress, a side effect of medication, jet lag or a change in the sleep environment. Though insomnia becomes more common with age, 10 to 15 percent of people experience chronic insomnia, which lasts at least three months, occurring at least three days a week.

Chronic insomnia can stem from lifestyle choices, such as misuse of caffeine, excessive napping or disrupted sleep cycles from shift work, but it can also stem from some medical conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  • Conditions that cause chronic pain
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by the tendency to suddenly and uncontrollably fall asleep at any time. Some people may also experience excessive sleepiness, dream-like hallucinations, sleep paralysis, vivid nightmares and cataplexy (loss of muscle control triggered by strong emotions). It is caused by the brain's inability to enforce normal sleep patterns and is considered a neurological disorder.

Narcolepsy carries a risk of danger while performing everyday activities like driving and can make social situations difficult. While there is no cure, the specialists at the Methodist Healthcare sleep centers can help wit narcolepsy treatment including medication and behavioral care.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops for brief periods of time while a person is sleeping. Symptoms of sleep apnea include very loud snoring, long pauses of interrupted breathing and gasping or choking during sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when muscles in the throat are unable to keep the airway open during sleep. Low blood oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea can result in several medical conditions. Left untreated, it can cause difficulty concentrating, weight gain, irritability, depression, high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke and more. A number of factors increase risk for sleep apnea including:

  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Being overweight
  • Having a small jaw or large overbite
  • Having a small upper airway
  • Being 40 years old and older


Parasomnia sleep disorders fall into two categories: Rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) disorders. REM sleep is the most active stage of sleep when most dreams and nightmares occur. During REM sleep, our muscles become relaxed and immobile. In patients with REM behavior disorders, however, the muscles do not relax and people tend to act out their dreams, sometimes by punching or yelling, all while sleeping.

Sleepwalking and night terrors are types of NREM sleep disorders. Parasomnia may be triggered by other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, or it may be caused by a response to medication. It is more common in children and usually resolves itself without creating health concerns. However, people who experience a parasomnia that creates a risk to oneself or others should seek treatment.

At home sleep disorder test

Answering some simple questions can determine if you are a candidate for a sleep study.

If you answered YES to two or more questions on the STOP test, you are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. It is recommended that you contact your primary care provider to discuss a possible sleep disorder.

The more questions you answer YES to on the BANG test, the greater your risk of having moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please contact your medical provider to request a referral for a sleep study at one of our sleep center locations.

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