Sleep-Alertness Disorders Center

Sleep Disorders Clinical Consulting Research Announcements


Do you or a loved one have trouble falling asleep at night?
Get a restlessness or creepy feeling in your legs?
Get sudden jerks in your arms legs or body?
Get 8 hours of sleep and still feel tired?
Fight to stay awake during the day?
Get hot or sweaty while asleep?
Have trouble staying asleep?
Wake up with headaches?
Get sudden weakness?
Need to take naps?
Grind your teeth?
Ever bedwet?
Or snore?

If the answer to ANY of these questions is YES then you should read through this site!

Expert evaluation is the first step to appropriate treatment.
Call Us The Sleep-Alertness Disorders Center  (303) 671-0977


The main goal of this Web site is to inform you, the patient or health care professional, about sleep disorders, especially symptoms that are likely to be associated with sleep or alertness disorders, and about our center. Our Director's decades of experience and commitment to maintaining the highest clinical standards ensure the very best quality sleep and or alertness evaluation and coordination available.


What We Do


We are a full service independent diagnostic center for all sleep disorders, for adults and children (ages 3 and up). We provide initial office visits with a board certified sleep specialist and follow up visits as needed, diagnostic sleep testing, CPAP testing, and CPAP equipment and ongoing support to our apnea patients.

Please see our "CLINICAL SERVICES" SECTION on this web site for more details on our services and the unique value this center provides for our patients.


We provide professional interpretation of sleep test recordings (dictations or full reports) to hospital-based or independent sleep centers. We provide expert consulting and training to new sleep centers on setting up clinical and administrative systems necessary for high quality center management. We offer a complete package of on-site sleep disorders/alertness assessment and support to industry, as well as consultation on optimizing scheduling for optimal employee alertness.

Please see our "CONSULTING SERVICES" SECTION on this web site for more information on these services.


The Director has more than 25 years experience in sleep research, as principal investigator on federal grants and pharmaceutical company clinical trials. Moreover, the Sleep-Alertness Disorders Center has conducted new long-term treatment research that has effectively treated patient with narcolepsy-cataplexy. The Sleep-Alertness Disorders Center has participated in numerous pharmaceutical clinical trials for promising treatments of cataplexy, insomnia and Restless Legs Syndrome.

Please see our RESEARCH section for more information about our research facilities and staff. A list of Dr. Scrima's research and publications (History section), and see our ANNOUNCEMENTS section, which contains information regarding current research, in which some patients may wish to participate.


Location & Directions

Map of 1390 S Potomac St
Aurora, CO 80012

From I-225 going North take the E. Mississippi Ave. exit, 
Turn LEFT onto E. Mississippi Ave., 
Turn LEFT onto S. Potomac St., 
Turn LEFT at the last of the 1 story brick buildings.
We are at Suite 110

From I-225 going South take the E. Mississippi Ave. exit, 
Turn RIGHT onto E. Mississippi Ave., 
Turn LEFT onto S. Potomac St., 
Turn LEFT at the last of the 1 story brick buildings.
We are at Suite 110


Company Profile

The Sleep-Alertness Disorders Center (SADC) is a full service certified, independent diagnostic center, since 1994. The Director, Lawrence Scrima, Ph.D., Diplomate American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM), Diplomate American Board of Forensic Medicine (DABFM), is an internationally acclaimed, board-certified sleep disorders specialist, with 24 years of clinical and over 27 years research experience. 
Our Medical Director, William J. Warkentin M.D., Fellow American College of Physicians (FACP), Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCHSC, is board certified in internal medicine, highly regarded with over 25 years experience. 

The Director evaluates all patients with sleep and/or alertness problems at the center, which is a fully equipped, certified sleep laboratory with 3 bedrooms (one is large with 2 beds so that a parent can stay with their child for child's sleep testing). The Director and Medical Director review, interpret and compose a summary report of the sleep problem history, test results, diagnos(is/es) and list appropriate treatment options that can be initiated by the patient's family physician or an SADC medical associate. Follow-up assessments are also provided at the Center. For sleep apnea patients, the SADC also does CPAP titration's and can provide CPAP equipment and follow-up assessments.

The Center also sponsors periodic patient support group meetings for patients with: narcolepsy, sleep apnea, sleep walking & night terrors and for restless legs & periodic limb movements disorders, and occasionally presents seminars on sleep disorders to the public.

Dr. Scrima provides clinical consulting services to hospital and independent sleep centers, including professional interpretation of sleep testing, and consulting services to new sleep centers and to industry.
Additionally, the center participates in clinical trials for promising new treatments of sleep disorders and has a research coordinator on staff.


The Center's Goals Are

1.   To provide the very highest quality sleep disorders evaluation in addition to appropriate 
treatment recommendation options, sending reports to both the patient and their physicians. 

2.   To be responsive to referring physician's inquiries, prompt with our reports, and available to 
discuss patients from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

3.   To educate the public, as a member of the National Sleep Foundation, we are dedicated
to informing the public concerning basic information about sleep, its importance and its disorders.

4.   To provide expert consultation services to new sleep disorders centers and industry.

5.   To stay abreast of new treatments and conduct clinical sleep research trials with promising 
new treatments.



bulletSleep Apnea
- to stop breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer.  
There are 2 types: 
Obstructive Apnea is a collapse of the upper airway while efforts to breathe continue.  
Central Apnea is a pause in breathing while the upper airway is open, but without effort to breathe.
bulletSleep Hypopnea
- a decrease in air flow during sleep with a 4% or greater decrease in blood oxygen.  
There are 2 types: 

Obstructive Hypopnea
is a partial collapse of the airway (associated with snoring).
Central Hypopnea
is an open airway, but reduced or fading-out of breathing effort.
- persistent difficulty falling asleep and or staying asleep; can be due to  underlying sleep 
disorders or medical conditions and or poor sleep hygiene, and / or psychological problems.
bulletRestless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- a restless, disagreeable, annoying or painful sensation in the legs, occurring during the day or evening or during sleep, that cause an almost irresistible urge to move the legs which can make i
t extremely difficult  to get to sleep.
bulletPeriodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
- involuntary leg and or arm movements or twitches during sleep, sometimes brought on by disagreeable or annoying or painful sensations or for no apparent reason. Patients may not awaken for these movements fully and may not be aware of them, but these frequent micro-awakenings can produce either excessive daytime sleepiness and/or difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep.
- a neurological sleep disorder, associated with excessive sleepiness (also referred to as hyper somnolence), resulting in the need for frequent naps, sleep attacks (unplanned naps, falling asleep), difficulty maintaining sleep or wakefulness for normal lengths of time, sudden and usually brief weakness events (called cataplexy), and sometimes associated with hallucinations (dream- like experiences while awake and or sleep paralysis (the very disconcerting inability to move soon after lying down or just after awakening, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes).
- sudden muscle weakness, associated with one or more of the following: mild head bowing, weakness in hands / arms / legs or jaw and facial muscles, slurred speech, knees buckling, falling to the floor and appearing as though asleep, but remaining awake); experienced by narcolepsy patients, when experiencing a strong emotion, such as laughter, anger, surprise, embarrassment, competitive athletics. These events can last a few seconds to minutes.
bulletNight Terrors
- often described as a single, persistent frightening image, abruptly occurring in deep sleep (usually spontaneously occurs in young children or sometimes in adults after a traumatic experience), often accompanied by a loud scream, that may not awaken the patient, although they are sitting bolt upright in bed, appearing intensely fearful (may be associated with thrashing, kicking, shaking, etc., especially if they are touched before they are fully awake).
bulletPolysomnogram (PSG)
- electronic measurement and recording during sleep, of muscle activity, eye movements, brainwave patterns, as well as air flow, oxygen level, effort to breathe, heart rate and rhythm; this test is performed to objectively assess and /or rule out certain sleep disorders.
bulletMultiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
- a series of 4 to 5, approximately 20 minute naps, spaced 2 hours apart, usually carried out 2 to 2.5 hours after awakening from a PSG test; used to objectively assess the severity of excessive daytime sleepiness  or hyper somnolence and to diagnose or rule out narcolepsy
bulletMultiple Wakefulness Test (MWT)
- a series of 4 attempts to stay awake, while sitting up in bed, in a dark bedroom for 10 to 20 minutes, usually starting 2 to 2.5 hours after a PSG test and repeated every 2 hours; used to objectively assess vigilance (alertness), which is often greatly impaired by certain sleep disorders.
bulletSleep Stages:
-normal sleep progresses through cycles of sleep stages.  The sleep stages of normal sleep are 
of a certain order, duration, and proportion, called normal sleep architecture.  Sleep architecture undergoes normal changes at certain ages and is disrupted when sleep disorders are present.  
Read about the stages immediately below:
bulletLight Sleep (stages 1 and 2 sleep)
- subjectively people awakened from light sleep will report that they were not asleep, but there is a decrease of sensory input during light sleep and a change in brain wave patterns, from a fast, mixed frequency associated with wakefulness, to a progressively slower and larger brain wave pattern.  Stage 2 sleep is found throughout the night and makes up about 50% of our sleep time.

bulletDeep Sleep (stages 3 and 4 sleep)
- Large slow brain wave that occur in stages 3 and 4 sleep, usually occurring early in the night after light sleep and is mostly concentrated in the first half of the night.  During deep sleep,  growth hormone is released in the greatest amount of the 24 hour period. The amount of deep sleep decreases as we age. 
bulletRapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM)
- sporadic rapid eye movements during sleep, along with a marked decrease in muscle tone and brain waves that look similar to wakefulness or stage 1, are observed in PSG recordings during what is referred to as REM sleep.  REM sleep is when we have story-like dreams, hence it is also know as dream sleep.  The first occurrence of REM sleep is usually the shortest of the night, tends to begin about 90 minutes after light and deep sleep, returns about every 90 minutes  and is mostly concentrated in the last third of the night of sleep.  Adequate REM sleep is important for learning and memory.  Infants have the highest proportion of REM sleep because learning is their main activity when awake.



Telephone # : (303) 671-0977
FAX # :  (303) 368-1254
1390 South Potomac Street, Suite 110, 
                 Aurora, CO 80012

Note that this web page contains general information that may be useful to the reader.  
If you wish to fill out our Initial Screening questionnaire, include your name, address and phone number so we can get back to you with feedback. 
However, please note that we cannot give specific medical advice to any individual who is not seen at this center. You are welcome to call and schedule an appointment with us or, if you are not in the Colorado area, you can consult your family physician or a board certified sleep specialist in your area. You can arrange a phone consultation with Dr. Scrima if you have been one of his patients or if you wish to get general questions answered about sleep disorders; phone consults are billed by time, but need to be arranged in advance by calling to set a time.      

Thank you for visiting our website.  We hope that you have found it informative.


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