Sleep Medicine

Quality sleep affects your mental and physical health. Rely on the sleep specialists at Essentia Health to help you get the proper amount of sleep at the right time, so you feel better, have more energy, and enjoy life.

What’s a Sleep Medicine Specialist?

Sleep medicine specialists have the expertise and training to diagnose and treat all types of sleep-related conditions.

When to See a Specialist

If you’re tired throughout the day or feel like you never get enough sleep, you may have a sleep disorder. The questions below will help identify if you have symptoms of a sleep disorder:

  • Do you snore or have you been told you snore?
  • Have you been told you stop breathing while asleep?
  • Do you experience an uncontrollable urge to move your legs at night?
  • Are you excessively sleepy throughout the day?
  • Do you wake up often during the night?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep?
  • Do you regularly need naps during the day in order to function?

If you responded “yes” to any of these questions, talk to your primary care provider about your symptoms and next steps. Or make an appointment for a sleep medicine consultation at Essentia.

Medical Insight: Sleep Deprivation Video Transcript


Logo, consisting of three flowers in a circle. Essentia Health. Text, Medical Insight. A man working on paperwork at a table rubs his face, exhausted, during narration.

TRACY BRIGGS: How many adults long for a good nap, a chance to catch some much needed Zs. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, one in five adults isn't getting enough sleep. Not only is it making us crabby and unable to focus, it increases our risk of developing health problems, including high blood pressure, cardiac issues, cancer, obesity, depression, and lowered immune function.

Dr. Shaun Christenson, neurologist and sleep specialist, speaks to the camera. He wears a black stethoscope.

DR. SHAUN CHRISTENSON: For healthy living, we've always stressed, well, don't smoke, exercise, eat a proper diet. I think getting good sleep has been somewhat neglected, but it has a very large impact on our health.

A medical room's door label is displayed, reading, Sleep Room 2. Inside lies a full-sized bed, with two white pillows and grey blanket. It is flanked by two night stands, one with a lamp, the other holding a clock. Several monitoring pads lie on the bed, awaiting use.

TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Shaun Christenson and the team at Essentia get to the bottom of why people aren't sleeping well by analyzing their sleep in labs like this. They look for medical conditions that might get in the way of a good night's rest. He goes on to explain that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep to feel their best without struggling to wake up or still feeling exhausted. DR. SHAUN CHRISTENSON: We wake up without an alarm clock, we feel well-rested, well-restored, ability to function in the day. TRACY BRIGGS: For many, waking up without an alarm clock and feeling refreshed seems like a dream. While some people have conditions like sleep apnea which prevent good sleep, many of us can blame lifestyle choices, spending evenings with electronics which produce blue light impedes our sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Dr. Christenson suggests reading or warm baths before bed, and it's vital to keep a routine of sleeping and waking up around the same time each day. DR. SHAUN CHRISTENSON: It's important to keep a routine, and matter of fact, a lot of evidence is showing it's not just the amount of sleep we're getting or the quality of sleep, but it's the keeping on that routine. If we vary from the routine, the quality sleep is worse. TRACY BRIGGS: Also Dr. Christenson says poor sleep is not inevitable as you age. He says to try some lifestyle shifts. And if you're still having trouble sleeping, don't hesitate to see your doctor. With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.

The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Benefits of Treatment

Diagnosis and treatment of sleep conditions can:

  • Improve your sleep quality
  • Help control your blood pressure
  • Lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke

Sleep Care Team

Benefit from our sleep team’s knowledge of all types of sleep conditions. You’ll receive personalized care using the most effective treatments for sleep disorders. Your team may include:

  • Sleep medicine doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Polysomnographic (sleep study) technologists

Diagnosing Disorders

Depend on our sleep medicine doctors to find the cause of your sleep troubles so you can get a good night’s rest. Receive a complete sleep disorders evaluation during your sleep clinic appointment. Expect your sleep specialist to:

  • Perform a medical history and physical exam
  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Provide information about sleep disorders
  • Explain diagnostic sleep tests
  • Discuss lifestyle changes and general treatment options

Sleep Studies

Your sleep specialist may recommend you have a sleep study, or polysomnography, to check for sleep disorders. Choose an Essentia sleep lab with advanced technology and a comfortable environment for your in-lab sleep study.

Sleep Apnea

If your doctor diagnoses you with sleep apnea, relieve your symptoms and keep your airway open while you sleep with treatments such as:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy – Delivers steady pressurized air through your nose and mouth while you breathe in and out
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPap) therapy – Uses two air pressure settings to give you higher pressure when you breathe in and lower pressure you breathe out
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) therapy – Blows pressurized air to maintain open airways, support normal breathing, and prevent pauses in your breathing

Partner with the sleep team at Essentia to help you get therapy equipment to fit your individual needs.

Make an Appointment

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Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

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