neuroscience subhead

Sleep and Wake Disorders Centers

Sleep problems and daytime sleepiness can cause or make serious health problems worse and interfere with work and other activities. Sleep apnea, snoring, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome are just some of the 95 identified sleep disorders from which patients suffer.

But, through comprehensive testing at the Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and WakeDisordersCenter or the Stafford Hospital Sleep Lab, we can diagnose and help create a course of treatment for your sleep problem.

Our Board-Certified Sleep Specialists and Expert Staff
The Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and Wake Disorders Center and the Stafford Hospital Sleep Lab have two physicians board-certified in sleep medicine: Dr. Phil Fuller and Dr. Maha Alattar. In addition, our highly-trained staff includes registered polysomnography technicians (RPSGTs) and experienced sleep technicians.

 We are Accredited
Our Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and Wake Disorders Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). The Stafford Hospital Sleep Lab is held to the same high-quality standards.

The AASM is a professional organization dedicated to assuring quality care for patients with sleep disorders, promoting the advancement of sleep research, and providing public and professional education. An accredited sleep disorders program is a significant resource to the local medical community and public. Accreditation by the AASM assures quality patient care through comprehensive clinical evaluation and treatment.

AASM accreditation is the gold standard by which other organizations and companies evaluate sleep programs. This is reflected by the fact that in many states insurance companies require sleep studies to be conducted only at an AASM-accredited facility.

To receive a five-year accreditation, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional quality health as designated by the Academy. This process involves a detailed inspection of a center's facility and staff including employing skilled and qualified staff, creating and maintaining a clean and comfortable environment, developing and maintaining a quality assurance plan, and adhering to evidence-based practice parameters. Additionally, the facility's goals must be clearly stated and include plans for positively affecting the quality of medical care in the community it serves.

Why Shouldn’t I Choose Any Sleep Lab?
Any physicians can operate a sleep lab, without training in sleep medicine and without certification by an accrediting body. Some physicians who claim to be sleep specialists may have no formal, fellowship training in sleep medicine, or they may have trained only during a short course lasting several days. While some non-accredited laboratories provided excellent service, we believe that patients deserve a board-certified sleep medicine physician and an AASM-accredited sleep lab.

What We Offer
The Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and Wake Disorders Center and Stafford Hospital Sleep Lab offer evaluations that are conducted through various overnight and specialized daytime sleep studies. Studies are conducted in a comfortable, home-like environment. Rooms have been designed to be like a hotel, and are equipped with a full-size bed, flat-screen TV with DVD player, and individual bathroom.

Sleep studies are available for children and adults. We ask that an adult remain with any patient who is a minor throughout the study.

Our Sleep Labs offer the following diagnostic testing:

  • Polysomnogram (PSG)
  • CPAP/BIPAP Titrations
  • Split Night Sleep Study (PSG/CPAP)
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT) with Polysomnogram
  • Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
  • O2 Titration Study

Think You Have a Sleep Problem?
We encourage you to make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms. You may then be referred for a sleep study.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? (OSA)

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is very common.  26% of adults are at high risk to develop OSA.  6-9% of men and 2-6% of women already have OSA while most have not been diagnosed.
  • Many children have OSA because of large tonsils or obesity.
  • A major risk factor is obesity but not all people who have OSA are overweight.
  • The most common symptoms are loud snoring, stopping breathing during sleep, daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
  • Other symptoms include:  restless sleep, snorting and gasping during sleep, not feeling refreshed upon awakening and morning headaches.
  • OSA is known to be a cause of or associated with:
  1. High blood pressure
  2. Congestive heart failure
  3. Heart arrhythmias
  4. Stroke
  5. Diabetes
  6. Auto accidents (2nd leading cause)
  7. Impaired concentration and memory
  8. Unexplained death during sleep
  • In children, OSA is a cause of poor daytime performance at home and school.  Children felt to have learning disabilities should be evaluated for sleep apnea.  Tonsillectomy is usually curative when tonsils are enlarged.           
  • Alcohol and sedatives worsen OSA.
  • Diagnosis is established by a sleep study (polysomnogram) done in a sleep lab such as the Mary Washington Hospital Sleep and WakeDisordersCenter.
  • Treatment measures include weight loss and avoidance of alcohol and sedatives before sleep.  Specific treatment is with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).  CPAP has been shown to reverse symptoms and reduce the associated medical problems.  Dental devices may help if CPAP is not tolerated.

 Do you have sleep apnea?

  1. Do you snore loudly?
  2. Has anyone observed you stopping breathing in your sleep?
  3. Do you feel sleepiness or fatigue frequently during the day?
  4. Do you have, or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, you have a high risk for having obstructed sleep apnea.

We Offer 2 Sleep Lab Locations
Depending on capacity and the sleep study required, you will be scheduled to arrive at one of our two facilities: 

Register in advance
To schedule your sleep study, call 540.741.2000 and select option 2. You will be provided with preparation instructions either by your physician or by a representative from the Patient Access office.

Patient Preparation Instructions for Sleep Study
Please review the patient preparation instructions for your sleep study prior to your visit.

Sleep Questionnaire
Please complete a Patient History and Sleep Questionnaire prior to your visit.


Listen to Dr. Alattar on "Sunday Mornings with Dee" on B101.5 discuss "Let's Get Some Sleep."


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