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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine-accredited Sleep Disorders Center at Boston Medical Center provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment services for individuals with a full range of sleep problems. Along with providing our services, our Sleep Disorders Center is committed to educating the public that a good night’s sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.
Areas of Expertise
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Parasomnias such as sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and dream enacting behaviors
- Abnormal behaviors during sleep
- Restless legs syndrome
- Disruption of sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythm
The Sleep Laboratory is located in the Crosstown Building, 801 Massachusetts Ave, 6th floor. We perform overnight sleep studies every night of the week. Patients have their own private bedrooms while a specialized sleep technician attends to the sleep study. The laboratory accommodates overnight sleep studies for patients of all ages, from infancy to geriatric patients. We require a parent or guardian to accompany any children age 14 or under.
The laboratory performs the full range of diagnostic studies, including Home Sleep Apnea Tests, multiple Sleep Latency Tests (MSLTs) and actigraphy.
The Sleep Disorders Center is staffed by a group of Board Certified Sleep Specialists. Our multidisciplinary center is staffed with adult sleep specialists, pediatric sleep specialists, surgeons specializing in procedures for sleep disordered breathing, dentists specializing in sleep dentisty, psychiatrists, psychologists experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and a group of surgeons specializing in oral surgery and otolaryngological sleep surgeries. We also offer state-of-the-art procedures, such as hypoglossal nerve stimulation (Inspire).
The Neurology Department offers a full spectrum of neurological care, including examination, diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment, comprehensive follow-up, and rehabilitation recommendations for disorders of the nervous system.
Conditions We Treat
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. People with insomnia usually experience symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and changes in mood.
Narcolepsy is characterized as overwhelming drowsiness and an extreme tendency to fall asleep at any time. People with narcolepsy usually feel very sleepy during the day, and may even fall asleep during normal activities. Although there is no cure, medication and behavioral treatments can typically improve symptoms.
Restless Leg Syndrome is defined as an irresistible urge to move the legs during sleep, often accompanied by unusual or unpleasant sensations that may be described as creeping, tugging or pulling.
An individual with sleep apnea experiences breathing that stops and starts during the sleep cycle. The two main types of sleep apnea are central sleep apnea, when the brain isn’t sending the right signals to the muscles that control breathing, and obstructive sleep apnea, when the throat muscles relax.
Sleep disorders include any disruption in the normal sleep pattern, including abnormal breathing and movement, falling and staying asleep, and other sleep issues. A sleep disorder can negatively affect health and quality of life, can affect any age group, and is usually treatable.
Sleepwalking originates during sleep and results in people walking or performing other complex behaviors, often with little or no memory after it happens.
Snoring is a common problem among all ages and genders, characterized as noisy breathing during sleep. People are generally unaware of their snoring, and must rely on the observations of their bed-partners. Although snoring alone is not serious, it is a symptom of sleep apnea, which is a serious condition that requires medical attention.
Sleep medicine, Behavioral neurology, Dementia
Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Sleep Medicine
Neurology, Sleep Medicine, Public Health
Pediatric Otolaryngology, Chronic Sinusitis, Allergy, Salivary Gland Disorders, Snoring and Sleep Surgery
Associate Professor, Boston University School of Dental Medicine
William DeBassio, MD, PhD, Director, Pediatric Sleep Services
Walter Lehan, Chief Technician and Manager, Sleep Laboratory
Marianne Kelly, RN, BS, Sleep Center Coordinator
Amelia Hansen, NP
Opal Mitchell, NP
Members of the Center are actively involved in issues such as the impact of Sleep Apnea on COVID-19 outcomes, healthcare disparities in Sleep Medicine, the impact of mood disorders on sleep architecture, and the impact of sleep disorders on the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly.
Residency and Fellowship Information
Education and Training
The Sleep Disorders Center has an ACGME-accredited Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program. The staff at the Center is also actively involved in Sleep education of the community and the medical workforce.