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Michael J. Bergstein, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Sleep disorders are more prevalent than most people realize. Approximately 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some disorder of sleep that interferes with daily functioning and can affect their future health and longevity. Sleep deprivation is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, stroke, and sudden death. Approximately 20% of all serious car crashes are associated with driver sleepiness. It is clear that sleep problems are a national health issue that needs to be more fully addressed.

Affects of Sleep Deprivation:

Research has demonstrated that people are sleeping less than they were 20 years ago. Those with sleep deprivation show impaired memory, poor cognition, greater emotional volatility, and increased anxiety as well as poor work performance.

In children, sleep deprivation has been associated with hyperactivity, inattention, learning disabilities, lower IQ, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness.


A physician evaluating a person with symptoms of sleep deprivation will initially ask the patient about snoring, daytime sleepiness, awakenings at nighttime, and feeling fatigued upon awakening in the morning. Any positive answers are a red flag that a sleep disordered breathing (SDB) condition may exist.

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB)

SDB is most commonly associated with obstructive sleep apnea; which is the stopping of breathing multiple times during the night, with episodes lasting greater than ten seconds.


A person who has sleep apnea will always snore; however, not every person who snores will have sleep apnea.

Risk factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea include high blood pressure, male gender, obesity, menopause, increased neck circumference, and age greater than 65.

Children with sleep apnea typically snore, and their parents report that the child sleeps restlessly. The cause of this disorder in children is quite different from adults. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the primary cause of sleep-disordered breathing in children.

An adequate physical examination along with a comprehensive clinical history allows the physician to diagnose this condition.

Phelps Sleep Center:

Phelps Memorial Hospital has the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art sleep laboratory in Westchester County. Patients referred to the Phelps Sleep Center typically spend one night in a quiet, comfortable setting, monitored by an experienced technician who will determine if sleep apnea exists. Patients leave the next morning and can go directly to work or home. The results of the sleep monitoring are then evaluated by board-certified physicians. If sleep apnea is diagnosed, the patient will be counseled on the most appropriate treatment to help resolve their obstructive sleep apnea.


Treatments for sleep apnea as well as disordered sleep range from conservative measures, including weight loss with dietary modifications, to the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or possible surgical intervention. Many patients are successfully treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is a small mask that sits over the nose or face and delivers a gentle puff of air when a blockage of the breathing passage is noted.

For those patients who are unwilling or unable to use CPAP, a surgical alternative will be discussed. This may range from an in-office procedure, Pillar Implants (see www.restoremedical.com), to a hospital day procedure which may include repair of a deviated nasal septum or a procedure on the oral cavity.


At Phelps Memorial Hospital Sleep Center, we work with physicians and the public to raise awareness about sleep disorders and we are dedicated to diagnosing and treating people who have sleep problems. Our breadth of knowledge in sleep medicine allows us to provide the best in comprehensive care.

Michael J. Bergstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., is board certified in Otolaryngology. He earned his medical degree at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he also completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in otolaryngology. He completed a fellowship in plastic surgery at University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. Dr. Bergstein has offices in Sleepy Hollow and Yorktown Heights. (914-631-3053)


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