Updated Sleep Center at McLaren Caro Region

If you haven’t been inside the McLaren Care Region Sleep Center recently, you are in for a surprise. McLaren Caro recently remodeled the space with new beds, hotel-style décor, and fresh paint. 

It’s a far cry from what most people expect in a laboratory, even one that’s dedicated to studying sleep.

“It’s like a little hotel room,” said Sleep Care Manager Zack Freeman. “There’s cable TV, a DVD player, you can bring something to read. We try to make it comfortable.”

While it may look like a cozy hotel room, the full-service lab meets stringent guidelines to diagnose and treat serious health concerns.

The full-service lab at 401 N. Hooper St. in Caro is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and they diagnose and treat sleep disorders, respiratory diseases, and other acute and chronic conditions.

“The most common referral to the sleep lab is people suspected of having sleep apnea or who have low oxygen or disrupted sleep,” said Freeman.

Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the seriousness of a sleep disorder. Primary care physicians, pulmonologists, and cardiologists all refer patients to sleep labs. Sleep is essential to our immune system, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Poor sleep habits are linked to hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. 

“There’s a lot of data about how bad sleep apnea is for you. Cardiologists are keen to send patients for studies,” Freeman said.

If you think you have a sleep disorder, your first step is to contact your primary care physician. If your doctor shares your concerns, he or she sends an order for a sleep study to McLaren Caro Region. From there, someone from the sleep lab will call you to schedule a time, explain the process, and answer all your questions. 

When you arrive for your study, bring personal items including pajamas, your favorite pillow and something to read or a movie to watch. Cable TV is also available in your private room.

Sleep lab staff will connect you to sensors so they can monitor you without stepping into your room during the night. What they’re measuring is eye movement, oxygen levels, heart and breathing rates, snoring, and body movements. There are no needles involved and the sensors allow you to move normally. 

Still, many people worry they won’t sleep well and the test will be void. Relax. A full night of sleep isn’t needed to gather useful information.

Many people also worry about meeting insurance requirements. Over the years, though, the McLaren Caro Region staff have become experts at understanding and meeting complex insurance requirements for sleep studies.

“Our office is very fluent in the insurance guidelines,” Freeman said. “We’ll take care of all that on our end.”

Services available at the Caro Sleep Lab include:

  • Treatment for a range of sleep disorders
  • Sleep medicine consultations
  • Facility-based diagnostic and educational services
  • Comprehensive evaluation, education, and follow-up
  • Home sleep tests administered by credentialed sleep technologists and read by a board-certified sleep specialists. Patients receive comprehensive education, treatment, and follow-up services.
  • Each month, the center hosts a free walk-in CPAP clinic. A certified sleep educator inspects machines, offers mask fittings, and educates patients. 

If you have more questions about the sleep clinic or would like to schedule a sleep test, call (989) 672-5097.