The UC Davis Neurology Sleep Medicine Laboratory specializes in the evaluation of sleep disorders. Proper sleep is an essential part of your overall health. There are more than 80 different recognized disorders that can affect your sleep. It is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans have a sleep disorder. 

Research has shown that insufficient or poor quality of sleep may lead to significant health problems including:

High blood pressure




Heart disease

Increased daytime stress

Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents

Problems with attention, concentration and memory both at school and at work

Irresistible urges to sleep at inappropriate times (at work, in the classroom)

If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, ask your primary care provider to make a referral to us.

Consultations with a Sleep Medicine Specialist can be arranged by calling 916-734-3588. Consults can be faxed to 916-734-7424.

We also run a sleep laboratory that helps in the diagnosis of many sleep disorders.

Some of the more common sleep disorders include:

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition whereby patients have episodic shallow breathing or stop breathing in their sleep from the upper airway closing.  Warning symptoms include snoring, gasping or choking at night, waking up repeatedly at night (even to go to the bathroom), daytime sleepiness, morning headache, dry throat in the morning, irritability, and problems with daytime concentration and memory.

Diagnosis is based on an overnight sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, which can be performed in our Sleep Laboratory. Treatment involves lifestyle measures such as weight loss, the use of continuous positive airway pressure devices, dental devices, and occasionally surgery.

Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition that often leads patients to have trouble falling asleep.  Patients experience an irresistible urge to move their legs at night in bed.  Patients may describe a funny sensation in their legs as “creeping” or “crawling.”  While asleep, many patients will repeatedly kick their legs, often disturbing their bed partners.  Medical treatment is available and often very effective.

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disease characterized by sudden urges to sleep, episodes of loss of voluntary muscle tone, vivid dreams while falling asleep or upon awakening, and brief episodes of total paralysis while waking up from sleep.  Both genetic and environmental factors appear to contribute to narcolepsy. Although no cure exists, medications can often help restore a patient’s quality of life.

Sleep walking may be seen in both older children and adults.  While in a deep sleep, patients may get out of bed and walk around the house or, more seriously, patients may open the door and walk outside.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder often affects middle- to older-age adults while in REM sleep  (the dream stage of sleep). It manifests as dream-enacting behaviors, such as talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, and jumping from bed. 

Healthy people are normally paralyzed during REM stage of sleep to avoid acting out dreams.  However, with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, patients lose this paralysis and act out their dreams.  This may lead to significant disrupted sleep for the patient and bed partner, and may even lead to injury. A full evaluation is needed as REM Sleep Behavior Disorder may be caused by certain medications and has been also linked to Parkinson’s disease

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