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New Colorado Sleep Institute to be awakened soon


February 27, 2019

Courtesy photo

Colorado Sleep Institute’s new location as seen from Highway 119, will be opening soon.

Getting a healthy amount of sleep is a challenge for up to 70 million people a year the American Sleep Association reports. Some of us suffer from the inability to fall asleep or can’t sustain a good night’s rest. Others have apnea leading to interrupted breathing and waking up throughout the night. There are a variety of reasons why getting the proper amount of quality slumber becomes an agonizing quest.

Fortunately, expert help for the exhausted is easily accessible. Colorado Sleep Institute (CSI) is on the verge of completing a new location just off Highway 119 at 1630 Dry Creek Drive, Longmont.

Sleep isn’t a passive state CSI co-founder Dr. Mark Hickey explained. “Research has shown recently that one of the reasons we sleep is to remove waste from the brain. It’s a very carefully orchestrated, necessary process. It’s not a turning off of the body.”

Without the seven hours of sleep adults are typically recommended to have each day, deprived individuals may experience serious physical health risks, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, weight gain, irritability, lack of coordination, brain fog, and accidents often result. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, and strokes are all associated with chronic poor sleep.

Started in 2010 by Dr. Hickey and Adam Wertz, CSI now has three locations – in Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield, and employs 60 people. The present Longmont clinical location on Professional Lane and the existing administrative location will be combined in CSI’s new offices which will occupy over 13,000 of the newly constructed 20,000 square-foot building.

Hickey said the site was chosen not only for its proximity to patients from areas surrounding Longmont, but also because the region has a plentiful pool of qualified employees to support the growing business.

Hickey and Wertz opened CSI because the old mode of helping patients with sleep disorders was a less effective, disjointed process of diagnosis, treatment, and follow up, involving medical professionals from separate organizations.

Hickey said, “What we decided to do was a completely comprehensive care model. It means that we actually see the patient in clinic, do a complete history and examination and then, if they need diagnostic testing we can do that. We do the interpretation of the study and if therapy is needed, we will provide that to them in house, all under one roof. We do the follow up as well and continue to monitor them in several ways including high tech ways such as remote wireless transmission to be sure their breathing is normal and they’re not having any issues.”

With a background in neuroscience, Hickey felt sleep was a fascinating subject and the lack of research in the field piqued his interest to delve into it further. He did his training in neurology at the Mayo Clinic and went on to do a fellowship in sleep medicine at Louisiana State University.

In fact, all of the doctors in CSI’s practice are fellowship-trained sleep medicine physicians, meaning they have spent an additional 12 months of intensive training focused specifically on sleep.

The practice will be expanding, but currently has six sleep physicians and five physician assistants on staff. Two Ph.D. researchers are also on the team breaking ground on pharmaceutical fronts, as well as clinical trials and designing research protocols.

Patient testing is done in CSI’s on-site sleep lab where they observe brain waves, breathing, and oxygen levels and there are home sleep test options. For patients who have a circadian rhythm disorder, where their internal sleep clock is off-kilter, there’s a test called actigraphy, which determines which treatment is best.

Hickey said the two most frequently detected disorders are sleep apnea and insomnia. Other conditions such as snoring, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome also are addressed.

Once diagnosed, there are many approaches to treatment. CSI offers a unique alternative treatment for sleep apnea patients who would traditionally be using CPAPs (continuous positive airway pressure machines.) It’s an oral appliance therapy customized by CSI’s dental sleep medicine specialist. The appliance physically brings the lower jaw forward to keep the airway from collapsing.

For patients with the wakefulness of insomnia, the institute likes to initially utilize cognitive behavioral therapy which they have found to be the most effective long-term treatment.

Hickey said sleep apnea patients under treatment will see results immediately, and those with insomnia can realize significant improvement in four to six weeks.

Colorado Sleep Institute’s new location is expected to open by mid-March. Medical insurance covers the services provided by the center.

To learn more about CSI and to schedule an appointment, visit www.ColoradoSleep.org or call 720-279-9098.


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