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Sleep Disorder Center

Not getting enough sleep? You are not alone. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans get less than six hours of sleep per night. If you are living with a sleep disorder, it is more than an inconvenience. Lack of sleep can impact your mood, work performance, and relationships.

Most importantly, it can seriously affect your health. Chronic sleep loss is linked with heart disease, depression, diabetes, and obesity.

The Roger Williams’ Sleep Disorders Center is here to help you get the rest you need. At our center, the first step is a thorough medical and sleep evaluation. Some patients spend the night at our sleep lab, a specially designed facility with the feel of a comfortable hotel room. Here, our highly trained staff can closely monitor you while you sleep. We use the latest tools to measure brain wave activity, muscle movements, heart rate, and breathing while you sleep. This gives us a clearer picture of obstacles that might prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

To learn more, please call 401-351-2747.


Medical Director

Dr. Franklin McCool, ABIM

Board certified in Sleep Medicine


Sleep Disorders Center Coordinator

Laurie Poirier


No two sleep disorders are exactly alike. That’s why we tailor our diagnosis and treatment plans so you can be on the path to a restful night’s sleep. Our Center offers the latest in treatment options administered by a highly experienced staff to help you with insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, and other common disorders.

Our comprehensive services include:

An outpatient sleep lab, specially designed for your comfort, for overnight sleep studies; Comprehensive evaluation and treatment by a board-certified physician and a highly qualified staff experienced in treating the many kinds of sleep disorders; Individualized care focused on your specific sleep ailment;

Advanced diagnostics including:
Multiple Sleep Latency Test: a series of 20–minute naps, during which the patient tries to fall asleep; Maintenance of Wakefulness Test: a series of 40–minute trials, during which the patient tries to stay awake; The latest technology for treating excessive snoring and sleep apnea; Access to a network of highly experienced physicians and health professionals from Roger Williams Medical Center who specialize in treating other related problems that affect sleep; Home Sleep Studies for those who qualify;

Almost everyone has occasional issues related to sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping most nights – or if you have any of the following symptoms – you may have a treatable sleep disorder:

Persistent difficulty falling asleep at night;
Waking often during the night;
Difficulty staying awake and alert during the day;
Trouble concentrating during the day;
Loud snoring;
Choking or gasping for breath while asleep;
Abnormal leg movements during sleep or restlessness of legs at bedtime;
Constant state of fatigue;

These are all real signs of a possible sleep disorder. More than just an inconvenience, these disorders can have a significant impact on your everyday activities. Fortunately, most sleep disorders can be treated easily and effectively. The first step is taking your problem seriously. We are here to help.

The following are some of the most common sleep disorders we diagnose and treat:


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

There are few sleep-related ailments more jarring than when a person stops breathing while asleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. This is a health issue for the person affected and can also negatively impact anyone who is sharing a sleeping space. Patients with OSA develop an upper airway obstruction when airway muscles (esp. the tongue and palate muscles) relax during sleep. Obesity, an enlarged neck, or a small jaw size can cause a narrowing of the upper airway making it easier for complete airway obstruction to develop during sleep.


Common symptoms include:

Loud habitual snoring;
Pauses in breathing during sleep or waking up with choking/gasping sensation;
Poor quality sleep'
Daytime fatigue, memory difficulty, and sleepiness;

OSA is not merely an inconvenience. It can lead to serious health issues like depression, headaches, excessive nighttime urination, erectile dysfunction, heartburn, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack or strokes, worsening of heart failure, and difficulty in controlling blood sugar in diabetics. This is why treating and diagnosing OSA is so important.


Treatments include:

Weight loss;
Use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP);
Upper airway surgery such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP);
Use of oral appliances (mandibular advancement devices) that pull the jaw forward;
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Do your legs twitch uncontrollably while trying to sleep? You may have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings. Patients with RLS may experience rhythmic leg jerks during sleep called "Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.” These leg movements may result in insomnia, restless sleep, and poor quality sleep, or daytime fatigue/sleepiness.


If you have insomnia, you know the recurring experience of trying to sleep at night and stay awake during the day. Insomnia is characterized by repeated difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, early morning awakenings, and an inadequate quantity of sleep. These symptoms can result in some form of daytime impairment.



A lack of REM sleep can significantly impact your daily activities by causing anxiety, irritability, hallucinations, and difficulty concentrating. Narcolepsy is a disorder of REM sleep regulation with a tendency for REM sleep to occur at inappropriate times. This results in excessive daytime sleepiness, hallucinations, sleep paralysis and cataplexy (sudden weakening of muscles often precipitated by laughter). Even though a person with narcolepsy might be sleepy, their nighttime sleep may be frequently disrupted.



If you fall asleep but then engage in disruptive behavior, you may suffer from parasomnia. Parasomnias are disorders of arousal that occur during entry into sleep, within sleep, or during arousals from sleep. This can result in disruptive behavior that can be unsettling for both the sufferer and their loved ones.


Common symptoms include:


Sleep walking;

Acting out dreams with sleep terror;

Sleep-related eating disorders, where someone in a state of sleep binge eats without realizing what they are doing;

Some of this behavior may result in injury to the patient or others.


Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Does it feel like your body’s sleep “clock” is never set to the right time? You are awake at night and want to sleep during work or school? You may have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, which is caused when an individual’s body doesn’t recognized environmental time cues that lead most of us through our sleep/wake cycle.


Your Visit

Our Sleep Disorders Center is designed with your convenience in mind. Please refer to the list below for everything you need to know parking to preparation for a sleep test.


Where is the Sleep Disorders Center? What time should I arrive for my test?


If you have an appointment for a sleep test, please arrive at 8:00 p.m. at our center, located at 1539 Atwood Avenue, Suite #302, in Johnston. Park in the back parking lot and use the rear entrance. There, you can proceed through two sets of doors and use the buzzer and intercom on the wall to inform the technician that you are here for a sleep study. After you are buzzed in, take the elevator to the third floor.


Visits are scheduled on regular intervals so if you need to cancel or anticipate being late, please call us at 401-351-2747.


What if I cannot keep my scheduled appointment?


Our technicians are scheduled to be there for specific appointments like yours. We typically remind you three days in advance of your appointment. If we don’t speak to you in person, please call back to confirm your appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please let us know at least 48 hours prior to your study. You can reach the Sleep Lab at 401-351-2747.


What should I bring?


Bring necessary toiletry items (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, etc.) and a change of clothes (if desired) for the next day. Feel free to bring pillows or other objects that will help you to sleep more comfortably. You must bring pajamas, gowns, or night clothes (shorts, scrubs, tee shirts or sweats), a bathrobe, and socks or slippers. Also, bring something to read or work on during the non-sleep period.


How should I prepare for the test?


We recommend no naps and no caffeine during the day of your test. Try to eat your evening meal early, as some foods may affect your sleep. If you exercise on the day of the test, try to do it early in the day. Please do not use hair spray or hair gel on the day of the study.


Bring all of your usual medications and check with your physician if medication adjustments are needed for the test. If you are on oxygen at home, please notify the Sleep Lab prior to your study.


If you have any other special requirements, call the Sleep Lab before your study.


What is a sleep study?

A sleep study is a sophisticated test used to analyze your sleep. This special test requires an overnight stay in the Sleep Lab. If you normally sleep during the day, arrangements will be made to schedule your test accordingly.


How long will the test last?

The study will last from the time you normally go to sleep until approximately 6:00 a.m. the next morning.


How is the test performed?

Special wires and sensors are taped to various locations on the body. While you sleep, information on your brain waves, eye and muscle movements, heart rhythm, and breathing are collected by a computer.  This information is then analyzed and we share the results with your referring physician to formulate our next steps.


Will I be able to sleep?

This is a common question and the answer is usually, “Yes!” Surprisingly, most people sleep very well, sometimes even better than at home. Even if you don't fall asleep immediately or stay asleep for the entire night, you will probably sleep enough for us to collect the necessary data. If you think you will need sleeping pills to fall asleep, talk to the doctor ordering your sleep study. Bring the sleeping pills when you come for your sleep study test. At our Sleep Lab, we cannot provide you with any medications.


What is a MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test)?

Some patients may undergo an additional daytime test following the overnight study, consisting of a series of daytime naps. We will let you know in advance whether this test is necessary.


Can someone stay with me during the test?

Under special circumstances, a family member may stay with you during the test. If this is something you are considering, please discuss with the Sleep Lab staff on your visit when scheduling your test.


Does insurance cover this test?

Most insurance policies cover this test. You are responsible for making sure that any pre-certification or authorization required by your insurance company is completed. Usually the referring physician's office will help you obtain the needed pre-certification.


Where do I call for more information?

We are happy to answer any additional questions at 401-351-2747. We look forward to making your test an enjoyable experience.



From North of Providence

Take Route 95 South

Take the RI-5 N exit toward JOHNSTON


End at Roger Williams Sleep Lab:

1539 Atwood Ave, Johnston, RI 02919

From South of Providence

Take Route 95 North

Merge onto RI-37 W

Merge onto I-295 N via EXIT 1B toward JOHNSTON

Merge onto US-6 E via EXIT 6A toward PROVIDENCE

Take the RI-5 N exit

Turn LEFT onto RI-5 / ATWOOD AVE

End at Roger Williams Sleep Lab: 

1539 Atwood Ave, Johnston, RI 02919


American Academy of Sleep Medicine

American Sleep Apnea Association

National Sleep Foundation

Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation

Narcolepsy Network