Published on April 12, 2019

No More Sleepless Nights for Joliet Man Thanks to Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book,” according to an Irish proverb. Joliet resident Joseph Paluga would agree, especially since his years-long battle with sleep apnea and sleepless nights were no laughing matter!

Photo Caption: Pictured are Joliet resident and sleep apnea patient Joseph Paluga and Nanette Fazio, Registered Polysomnographic Sleep Technologist (RPSGT) for the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center.

“For so long, I never felt that I got enough sleep, and I became concerned when my wife told me that I often stopped breathing during the night,” said the 78 year-old.

At the recommendation of his physician, Paluga decided to have a sleep study at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center located on the Silver Cross Hospital campus in Pavilion A at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. Here, it was determined that he indeed had sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep,” says Dr. Muhammed Lababidy, MD, board-certified sleep medicine, pulmonology and critical care physician. “These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.”

During Paluga’s sleep study, he had a high number of breathing pauses every hour. His initial treatment plan included using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to sleep at night along with a full sleeping mask. However, because he has a tendency to feel claustrophobic, the full sleeping mask was not a viable option. Instead, he now uses a CPAP machine with a humidifier and a mask that has two smaller pillows that gently fit in his nostrils.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep making you tired during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes; it can also lead to arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, and often times increases the chance of having work-related or driving accidents.

While at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center, Paluga spent the night in a private home-like room where he had his own bathroom, calming décor, and comfortable bed to help put him at ease. He spent the next eight hours undergoing a polysomnographic test and a sleep study that provided a detailed picture of his entire sleep cycle. The study allowed technicians to analyze Paluga’s exact sleep pattern, from the onset of sleep through the four levels of sleep, to breathing, oxygen levels, heartbeat, movement and snoring activity. It was then determined that he had sleep apnea and required a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help control his breathing while he sleeps.

“My experience at the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center was wonderful,” said Paluga. “The sleep technicians were so knowledgeable and friendly. They thoroughly explained each step of the test and answered all of my questions.”

Improved Quality of Life Due to Sleep Study

Since treatment for his sleep apnea, Paluga enjoys restful nights of sleep and has more energy to enjoy his woodworking hobby.

“I would definitely recommend other people who aren’t sleeping well to get a sleep study because it will improve their lives,” said Paluga. “I am no longer sleepy during the day because of the almost six to eight hours of sleep I get. Plus, my sinuses aren’t as stuffed up and I have more energy during the day.”

About the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center

The Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). In addition to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, the Center specializes in sleep-related breathing disorders, insomnia, sleep related movement disorders, and narcolepsy.

“We are committed to helping our patients receive the correct treatment that will enable them to rest properly, so they can have a better quality of life,” says Dr. Lababidy.

If you or someone you love is experiencing a sleep problem, please contact the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center for an initial consultation. For more information, call 1-815-300-REST (7378) or visit

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.