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COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

Overview of the virus

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It is believed to spread in ways similar to the common cold—such as through coughs, sneezes, or handshakes. We are following established infection prevention protocols and remain prepared to care for patients. We have trained and practiced for these scenarios. When you enter our clinic, you may see certain staff members wearing masks. This is a preventative measure. Patients who exhibit any respiratory symptoms will also be asked to wear masks and will be rescheduled for non-emergent appointments.

Important Information about your upcoming appointment:

Keep Your Scheduled Appointments

You should not avoid seeking necessary care out of concerns about COVID-19 and you should keep your appointments unless otherwise instructed by your physician. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or think you've been exposed to COVID-19, call your doctor before going to your appointment.

If We Need to Reschedule

Your Appointment
As things evolve, we may reach out to reschedule clinic visits or procedures. In the event that we need to reschedule your appointment, we will call you.

Keep Taking Your Medications

We recommend that you continue taking all medications, as prescribed, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Contact your physician if you have questions. While you are visiting our office, please remember to follow the CDC’s guidelines concerning social distancing and hand hygiene to protect yourself and others.

EFFECTIVE 3/23/2020 - 4/9/2020:

We will be reducing our office hours and will be open from 8am-2pm. If you have an urgent matter outside of these hours, please call 911. If you need to speak with us about a non-urgent matter, please call our office between the hours of 8am-2pm.

Can’t fall asleep? You’re not alone. The good news is that we offer a wide range of innovative treatments to help with sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleep disorder for good. A good night’s sleep is right around the corner.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is more than loud snoring. If left untreated, it holds the potential to increase heart rate, raise blood pressure and disrupt deep healthy sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is partially or completely occluded, or closed, during sleep. This closing of the airway prevents oxygenated air from getting through.

Signs you may have sleep apnea:

  • Lack of energy
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Morning headaches
  • Obesity
  • Large neck size
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irregular breathing during sleep
  • Excessive snoring

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

The most common and effective method of treating sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This small bedside device delivers positive airway pressure through a mask worn during sleep. The air acts as an air splint, keeping the airway clear and open.

Sandhills Neurologists is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy to provide CPAP and supplies to most of our patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

A sleep apnea patient sleeps with a CPAP mask.


Understanding Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. It varies in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. Insomnia can be acute, lasting from one night to a few weeks. Whereas insomnia that occurs at least three nights a week for a month or longer, is considered chronic insomnia.

Common causes of acute insomnia include:

  • Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving)
  • Illness
  • Emotional or physical discomfort
  • Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Some medications (for example those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma)
  • Interferences in normal sleep schedule (jet lag or switching from a day to night shift)

Symptoms of chronic insomnia include:

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • General tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Problems with concentration or memory

While short-term or acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks, insomnia is deemed chronic when a person has had insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer.

If you think you may have insomnia, call us to schedule a health evaluation which may include a physical exam, a full medical history and sleep history.

Healthy sleep starts here. Insomnia treatment that works.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a non-invasive approach designed to change behavior and/or stimulate key areas of the brain. This approach has proven very effective at treating chronic insomnia.

CBT: A behavioral approach to treating insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is intended to help patients learn new behaviors to promote healthy sleep. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy, and reconditioning may be useful. We are clinical partners of an online CBT program called SHUTi. Learn More

If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from mild or chronic insomnia, contact us today to schedule an appointment.


In addition to daytime drowsiness and uncontrollable sleep episodes, most individuals who suffer from narcolepsy also experience poor sleep quality that can involve frequent awakenings during night time sleep as well as other sleep disorders.

Diagnosing narcolepsy requires a comprehensive clinical examination. We may ask you to keep a sleep journal noting the times of sleep and symptoms over a one-to-two-week period.

Additionally, a number of specialized tests, performed in our Sleep Center, are usually required before a diagnosis can be confirmed.

Sandhills Sleep Disorders Center

To learn more about insomnia and other sleep disorders, visit our Sleep Center.

Did you know that the Sandhills Sleep Disorders Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)?

Home Sleep Studies

A home sleep study is a modified sleep study that is performed in the comfort of your own home with a portable monitor. Home Sleep Studies are primarily used to detect Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Your insurance company may require you to have a Home Sleep Study instead of an in-lab sleep study.

What is the difference between a Home Sleep Test (HST) and an in-lab sleep test (PSG)?

  • A home sleep center is performed in your home versus at a sleep center. Our home sleep study devices measure oxygen level, heart rate, air flow and breathing effort. It will also record snoring and your position.
  • An in-lab sleep study (a Polysomnogram or PSG) will measure the above, but will additionally measure brain waves, sleep time, EKG and leg movements. In addition in the lab there is a licensed and registered sleep technologist who will observe you sleep and make any necessary adjustments in monitoring and set-up.

Is an HST better than a sleep test performed in the sleep center?

  • In patients with a high likelihood of moderate to severe apnea, home sleep testing is comparable to tests performed in the sleep center.
  • HST tends to underestimate the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) compared to an in-labatory sleep test, but it does detect the presence of OSA.
  • For some sleep problems the lab is preferred or essential.
  • Your at-home test may need to be followed by an in lab study.

Is it complicated to set up the equipment at home?

  • There are basically 4 simple steps:
    • Place the belt around your mid-section.
    • Attach the clip to your finger
    • Apply the airflow sensor under your nose
    • Turn the device on

Do’s and Don’t’s before the test

  • It is important to avoid napping the day of the home sleep study.
  • Avoid caffeine (Coffee, tea, cola’s, chocolates, etc.) after 12pm (noon) the day of your study.
  • Do whatever you would normally do, however, we recommend that you do not smoke while wearing the device.
  • Unless instructed otherwise, please take any medications your normally take.

Sleeping while using the Home Sleep Test device

  • Most people sleep well with the device in place.
  • You may find it strange at first, but most people do not find it uncomfortable or an obstacle to falling asleep.
  • You will need to sleep with the monitor all night.
  • The nasal cannula and finger clip are very important to have an accurate study. If you arouse and notice you have taken either of these items off, please replace the item. If it has been off for too long, your physician may want you to repeat the study.

What happens after the sleep study?

  • The morning after your sleep study the device should be dropped off at the office location where you picked it up. We are open 8am-4pm and close noon-1pm for lunch.
  • A large amount of information is collected during your sleep study. Our sleep physician will analyze this information and a formal report with recommendations will be created.
  • Typically, you will follow-up with the sleep physician within 2 weeks to go over all the results. If you do not currently have a follow-up appointment set, please give our office a call.

Videos About Sleep Disorder

What Our Patients are Saying

I did not realize how much sleep I was losing. I now wake up feeling refreshed and have lots of energy thanks to Dr. Chin! Sleeping with CPAP was much easier then I thought it would be.

This has been the BEST experience my husband and I have had with a specialist. Dr. Tellez took all the time needed to diagnose and treat our problems. He encouraged healthier treatments that have never been recommended by other Neurologists and we got amazing results! The whole team at Sandhills Neurologists spend so much time with us and were so caring. We are so, so, SO thankful for Dr. Tellez. We now have new hope for better quality of life. I can’t say enough good things. We thank God for them everyday.

I have always found Dr. Chin to be prompt, caring, very thorough and up to date. His staff is friendly and accommodating. His diagnostic skills are quick and accurate.

I had a bad power cord for my CPAP machine and the employees at Sandhills Neurologists allowed me to borrow a machine until my new power cord was mailed to me. Awesome service… I highly recommend Dr. Chin and his staff.

Dr. Chin is a wonderful DR. The home sleep study was easy. Following the directions made all the difference. And the phone sleep app also helps you understand your sleep pattern.

I am very impressed with the staff and the whole team. Extremely supportive in the whole process of using CPAP. Their support encouraged me to stay with the course. You are doing a good job. I am happy that you are my doctor!

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