News 12 This Morning / Monday, June 4, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Doctors Hospital has earned the distinction of having the top sleep center in the nation after a lengthy judging process by Advance magazine.
The sleep center is where patients like George Lantz spend the night to be studied.
"Complete tossing and turning. Not sleeping, being extremely tired, wanting to fall asleep on the way to work, falling asleep at meetings," Lantz said.
That was Lantz a few weeks ago. When he arrived at the sleep center, technicians wired him head to toe to monitor him.
"They put electrodes in my scalp to monitor brain waves, several straps around the chest to monitor chest rise," he explained.
The results showed what Lantz suspected all along -- he had obstructive sleep apnea. It's a problem that affects 1 in 4 men and 1 in every 9 women. If you catch it, there are ways to help you breathe better, like the mask Lants uses before going to bed.
"You don't have oxygen going to the brain, and the brain is not functioning, then organs begin not to function as well," said John Doriot, the director of sleep center.
The sleep center's staff says it can be even more dangerous when you don't know you have it.
"You basically stop breathing for the night when that happens your oxygen levels can be in the 40 to 50 percent range and that's not good," Doriot explained.
"Anyone that experiences fatigue, sleepiness and headaches should consider a sleep study," Lantz added.
The study changed mornings for him
"I feel bright and alive. Actually, this morning, I beat my alarm clock. It was great."
The center helped more than 1,200 patients like Lantz last year, helping it become the best sleep study center in the nation. The staff there says it's not often a smaller city like Augusta has the best sleep study center in the nation.