Sleep medicine and labs in Denver

Sleep disorders range in severity and treatment options, but getting an accurate diagnosis is critical to your health. If you suffer from sleeplessness, talk to your primary care doctor about getting a referral to a specialist at one of our sleep centers. Here, our adult and pediatric sleep specialists provide sleep studies and treatments that will help you get back to a full night's rest.

To learn more about the diagnostic and treatment options HealthONE provides for sleep disorders, call us at (303) 575-0055.

Our sleep center services

Sleep is as important as diet and exercise to our overall health. For example, sleep helps our bodies repair muscle tissue and helps the brain organize the massive amounts of information it receives throughout the day.

To help you sleep better, we offer sleep centers and clinics throughout Denver and the surrounding areas. These centers provide:

  • Certified medical and surgical treatments
  • Hotel-style accommodations
  • Multidisciplinary teams of sleep experts
  • Private restrooms equipped with showers

Sleep disorders we treat

The most common sleep disorder we assess is sleep apnea (also known as sleep-disordered breathing). We also treat sleep problems in children, such as bed-wetting or pediatric sleep apnea.

Some of the sleep disorders we treat include:

  • Bruxism (teeth gnashing, clenching, etc.)
  • Circadian rhythm disorders
    • Altered sleep phase types
    • Jet lag disorder
    • Shift work disorder
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Heartburn, acid reflux
  • Hypoxemia (low blood oxygen)
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nocturnal myoclonus syndrome (NMS)
  • Parasomnias
    • Night terrors
    • Sleep talking
    • Sleepwalking
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
    • Central
    • Complex
    • Obstructive

Innovative treatments for sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a respiratory condition that causes breathing to stop and start during sleep. This is dangerous because it means your body does not get adequate oxygen. It can also leave you feeling tired and unable to stay awake and alert throughout the day.

Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of:

In addition to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, HealthONE hospitals offer two special treatments for sleep apnea: neuromodulation (nerve stimulation) and upper airway stimulation.

Upper airway stimulation as an alternative to CPAP

Upper airway stimulation is an advanced treatment option for people with obstructive sleep apnea. This device can work as an alternative to the use of a CPAP device. Upper airway stimulation is a tiny implantable device that works with the patient’s natural breathing process. The system includes a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead.

The device is turned on by a handheld remote and delivers mild stimulation to the muscles of the tongue to keep the airway open. The device is turned on and off each night by the patient. Upper airway stimulation treatment is available at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center.

upper airway simulation

Sleep studies

Generally, patients do not remember that they stopped breathing or had other involuntary actions during sleep. Instead, patients typically feel like they did not sleep well and are not well-rested. This is why a comprehensive sleep study performed by trained and experienced specialists is important to diagnosing a sleep problem.

Types of sleep studies

Sleep studies are painless and are conducted so sleep medicine specialists can identify what is causing your sleep problem. Some of the studies we offer are:

  • CPAP titration—This study focuses on sleep apnea treatment using CPAP. Other treatment modalities that may be used include bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) devices, adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) and average volume-assured pressure support (AVAPS).
  • Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT)—MSLTs are used to determine a diagnosis of narcolepsy. This two-part test consists of an overnight baseline study and a series of four to five nap tests the following day.
  • Polysomnogram (PSG)—A PSG is a diagnostic sleep study with brain wave, respiratory effort, pulse, eye movement and leg movement measures. This standard study allows us to identify many sleep disorders.
  • Split night—A split night study is a combination of a PSG and CPAP titration study. The first part of the study records a diagnostic baseline. If sleep-disorder breathing events are present during the first half of the night, CPAP is initiated for the remainder of the study.

In-lab sleep testing

During an in-lab sleep study, you will come to one of our sleep centers. Here, our specialists monitor electronic sensors attached to your body while you sleep. They analyze up to 25 continuous measurements, including heart activity, breathing, oxygen level and brain activity. This data tells them what is causing your sleeping issue and allows them to create the right treatment plan so you can get back to sleeping normally.

Home sleep testing

Sleep testing at home is available for patients who meet certain criteria and have a high suspicion of obstructive sleep apnea. Home sleep testing is cost effective and convenient. Small, portable monitors record your respiratory effort, pulse, oxygen saturation, nasal flow and snoring. Home sleep testing is not appropriate for patients with certain pre-existing conditions. In these instances, in-lab sleep testing is advised.

After your sleep study

Following your sleep study, our sleep doctor reviews the findings and makes recommendations to your referring doctor. Treatment recommendations may include the use of a CPAP or BiPAP machine for sleep apnea or medications.

Sleep study candidates and referrals

You will need a referral from a doctor or specialist who suspects you are suffering from a sleep disorder. Once a referral is made, our sleep center will contact your health insurance company to get authorization for coverage before the study.

Signs of sleep disorders

If you answer yes to two or more of the questions below, ask your doctor about getting a referral to one of our sleep centers.

  • Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day?
  • Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
  • Do you awaken frequently during the night?
  • Do others say you snore loudly?
  • Do others say you stop breathing in your sleep?
  • Do you suddenly awaken, gasping for breath?
  • Do you get morning headaches?
  • Do you feel your body going limp when you are angry or surprised?
  • Do you experience vivid dreamlike scenes upon falling asleep or awakening?
  • Do you experience leg pain during the night?
  • Do others say you kick and thrash while asleep?
  • Do you wake up with heartburn, coughing or wheezing?
  • Do you have recurrent episodes of sleepwalking, nightmares or abnormal behavior while sleeping, such as violent actions, head banging or other related behaviors?