Neurology: Sleep Disorders

Sleeping well is the first step to living well. Eliminating or reducing sleep problems is important to maintain health and well being. There are many factors that can cause sleep problems, including medical illness, stress and other psychological problems. The quality of your sleep may even be affected by something in your surroundings like noise or comfort of bedding. An erratic work schedule or frequent travel can also have an impact on your normal sleep pattern.

There are treatments for most sleep problems, but the first step is recognizing that a problem exists. The second step is determining what causes the problem and the final step is treating the cause.

The mission of the UF Health Sleep Center – Jacksonville is to offer the highest quality of diagnostic and medical treatment procedures for all sleep disorders in a quiet, comfortable environment. The center, part of the UF Health Neuroscience Institute – Jacksonville, features a multidisciplinary team led by board-certified University of Florida faculty physicians who specialize in sleep medicine. In addition, our facilities serve as a source for advanced studies and research in sleep disorder treatment.


American Academy of Sleep Medicine Accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is the gold standard by which the medical community and the public can evaluate sleep medicine services. The UF Health Sleep Center – Jacksonville has demonstrated the highest quality of care by achieving AASM accreditation. The standards for accreditation ensure that sleep medicine providers display and maintain proficiency in areas such as testing procedures and policies, patient safety and follow-up, physician and staff training.


The UF Health Jacksonville Neuroscience Institute offers a comprehensive eight-bed sleep disorders center serving both pediatric and adult patients.

The Sleep Disorders Center evaluates and treats all sleep disturbances, including:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness/narcolepsy
  • Insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Parasomnias, including sleepwalking, night terrors, severe nightmares and bed-wetting
  • Circadian rhythm disorders, including unusual sleep patterns and waking earlier than desired
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Restless legs/nocturnal myoclonus
  • Nocturnal seizures
  • REM sleep behavior disorders

In addition, the center offers:

  • Night studies and CPAP titrations
  • Daytime sleep studies
  • Home sleep testing
  • Autotitration studies
  • Multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT)
  • Maintenance of wakeful testing (MWT)
  • PAP Naps
  • Compliance clinics
  • Pediatric studies (ages 2 and up)
  • AWAKE group

More on Pediatric Sleep Studies

After a complete evaluation, each patient is diagnosed and an appropriate therapy is determined. Depending on the nature of the sleep disorder, a sleep study may be performed in order to record sleep patterns as well as certain behaviors and functions that occur throughout the sleep period.

Sleep Studies

Sleep Study Room

Sleep studies take place in our state-of-the-art sleep center, where you will have the comforts of home in a quiet setting. The same sleep you experience at home will take place in the center; however, it will be observed and measured. During your sleep study, you will follow a sleep regimen, which includes preparing and applying sensors.

Patients requiring a sleep study are given specific information on how to prepare for the study and are notified of what to bring for his or her night's sleep.

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Pediatric Sleep Disorders

Children can have sleep disorders that negatively affect their behavior. Hyperactivity, inability to stay focused or pay attention, difficulty staying awake during the day or even bedwetting can all be signs that your child may have a sleep disorder.

Common Sleep Problems Among Children

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep-onset association disorder - occurs when a child associates or closely connects falling asleep with another activity, such as being rocked to sleep, sleeping with a parent, nursing a child to sleep
  • Sleepwalking
  • Night terrors
  • Inadequate sleep hygiene - activities or habits that interfere with the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, such as irregular bedtime schedule and napping during the day
Enlarged tonsils can prevent proper breathing during the night, causing sleep apnea. Research has also linked enlarged tonsils to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Sleep Studies Designed Especially for Children

Your child will be assessed by a team of University of Florida physicians prior to his or her sleep study. You and your child are invited to tour the center and meet with our sleep technicians to learn more about what will happen during the study.

Parents may stay overnight in a room attached to their child’s room, if they wish. This often helps relieve anxiety and creates a more positive experience. We are the only facility in Jacksonville that provides such accommodations.

follow-up appointment will be scheduled within two weeks after the study. During that time, our pediatric sleep medicine physician will meet with you to review your child’s results and discuss treatment options based on his or her individual needs to achieve the best possible outcome.


At the UF Health Sleep Center – Jacksonville, our goal is to schedule your child’s sleep study as quickly as possible and to provide results and a treatment plan in a timely manner.

Most insurance plans are accepted. Patients may need a referral from their physician. Please call the center for more information prior to making an appointment.

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  • Akaber Halawi, M.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Specializes in Otolaryngology; Rhinology
  • Mariam Louis, M.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Co-Medical Director, Sleep Lab
    Specializes in Pulmonary Disease; Sleep Medicine


  1. UF Health Sleep Center – Jacksonville

    4th Floor, Tower I
    580 West 8th Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32209