Center for Sleep Medicine

The Center for Sleep Medicine has a brand new website - please click here to visit it!


The Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is proud to provide excellent outpatient care for patients of all ages with any problems associated with sleep or wakefulness. Our physicians and clinicians render in-depth diagnostic evaluation and expert treatment. Most of them are board certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

What is a sleep disorder?

Any condition that impairs sleeping well at night to the extent that it disturbs daytime functioning — often manifested as excessive daytime sleepiness — is a sleep disorder. The most common sleep disorders are sleep apnea and insomnia. Common sleep problems include:

  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep-related seizures

The effects of sleep disorders during the day include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Feeling unrested
  • Poor job performance
  • Mood disturbance
  • Increased risk of automobile accidents
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Morning headaches

Medical complications resulting from untreated sleep apnea syndrome include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart beat irregularities
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

What does an evaluation for a possible sleep disorder involve?
If you or your doctor thinks you have a sleep disorder, you should schedule an appointment with one of the physicians or clinicians, at the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine.

The Sleep Center is located at 425 East 61st, on the 5th floor. The center has twelve rooms equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for overnight sleep monitoring. All bedrooms are as comfortable as hotel rooms and have a beautiful view. Each room has its own personal bathroom. The Center for Sleep Medicine is available for overnight studies from Sunday through Friday night.

The physician or clinician will spend up to an hour with each patient, asking more specific questions about your sleep, and perform a physical examination. A report of your visit will be sent to your referring physician within a week.

What is a sleep study?
Most patients will need an overnight sleep study (called polysomnography, or PSG) to make a final diagnosis. Your sleep, breathing, hearth rhythm and movements will be recorded for an entire night using a variety of devices attached to your head and body by a technician.

The electrodes are needed in order to monitor your brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rhythm, breathing pattern, blood oxygen saturation, and leg movements. It looks uncomfortable, but is virtually painless. Most patients sleep quite well with the equipment. The sleep technician will explain the procedure, and watch your sleep all night on the computer as well as on a video monitor.

Some patients will also require daytime testing to determine the severity of their daytime sleepiness. This test, called a multiple sleep latency test (or MSLT) involves five nap opportunities. We will ask you to try to fall asleep at around 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. We will measure the speed with which you fall asleep and the kind of sleep you go into. The sleep latency is a good indicator of the degree of your excessive daytime sleepiness, and the kind of sleep you obtain will give us a clue as to weather you may have narcolepsy.

Many patients diagnosed with sleep apnea syndrome will need an additional herapeutic night in the sleep laboratory. You will sleep with a device which helps you breathe called nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP). Information on this and many other treatments for sleep disorders are described in detail at the web links listed below.

What do rooms look like in the Center for Sleep Medicine?
Click this link to view photos of our new Center for Sleep Medicine located at 425 East 61st Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY. (Between York Avenue and First Avenue)

How do I prepare for the sleep study?
Bring your overnight kit including a loosely fitting pajamas and toiletries as if you were going to a hotel. Eat your dinner as you usually do, including possible alcoholic beverages, and then come to the sleep center. Patients are scheduled to arrive two hours before their usual bedtime.

What happens after the test?
You will be awakened around 7 am and the wires will be removed. You can take a shower and freshen up. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and towels are provided. You can have breakfast either at the hospital cafeteria, or at one of the restaurants nearby. You may then go home or to work a usual. We will do everything possible to make your stay at the sleep laboratory as pleasant as possible.

How do I get the results of the sleep study?
About one to two weeks after the test, you will have a follow-up appointment with one of the physicians or clinicians. By that time your sleep study will have been thoroughly analyzed, scored, and interpreted by the sleep specialist.

During your follow-up visit, the physician or clinician will explain the test results to you, and discuss the different treatment options. Fortunately, most sleep disorders respond well to treatment.

Who pays for the sleep test?
Most insurance plans will cover the initial evaluation (first doctor's visit), the sleep study, a follow-up visit with your sleep professional, and a second treatment sleep study (testing the breathing machine) if needed. Please check with our secretary at (646) 962-7378 regarding coverage by your specific insurance plan prior to making an appointment.

To learn more about sleep disorders (over 86 different disorders have been classified so far), please visit the following web sites:

American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA)
2025 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 905
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 293-3650 Fax: (202) 293-3656

American Sleep Disorders Association (ASDA)
1610 14th Street NW, Suite 300
Rochester, MN 55901

Narcolepsy Network
P.O. Box 42460
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Tel: (513) 891-3522 Fax: (513) 891-9936

National Sleep Foundation (NSF)
729 Fifteenth Street NW, Fourth Floor,
Washington, DC 20005

Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 7050, Department CP,
Rochester, MN 55903-7050

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

American Board of Sleep Medicine

American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association

American Sleep Apnea Association

Association of Polysomnographic Technologists

Associated Professional Sleep Societies

Books for Sleepless Nights (Sleep book reviews)

Canadian Sleep Society

Drowsy Driving

European Sleep Research Society

German Sleep Society

Heart, Blood and lung

Narcolepsy Network

National Center for Sleep Disorders Research

National Narcolepsy Registry

National Organization of Rare Disorders, Inc.

National Sleep Foundation

Northeastern Sleep Society

Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation

SIDS Syndrome Alliance

Sleep Disorders Dental Society

Sleep Home Pages

Sleep Net

Sleep Research Society

Sleep/Wake Disorders Canada

Society for Light and Biological Rhythms

Stanford University Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Young Adults with Narcolepsy (YAWN)