IF YOU GO

What: Cloud 9 Sleep Center grand opening and open house

When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 10 and 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 11

Where: 6600 East Main St. in Farmington

Cost: Free

FARMINGTON — A new sleep center is now open for business.

With six beds, the Cloud 9 Sleep Center is now the largest sleep center in the Four Corners. The center is located at 6600 East Main St. in Farmington.

The center's grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10.

Adam Marshall, a registered polysomnographic technologist and a recent graduate of San Juan College's nursing program, owns and operates the center. He has been involved in sleep medicine for more than eight years. Marshall, who is half Navajo, received his sleep technician training in Utah but brought his expertise back to San Juan County to help people with sleep disorders.

"There are a lot of conditions like hypertension and diabetes on the reservation, and people with these diseases are more prone to sleep apnea," he said. "Recent research indicates that diabetes can be better managed if apnea is treated. I'm looking forward to being able to help people with these conditions."

In addition to apnea, the facility, which also houses Four Corners Sleep Supplies, assesses and treats sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. It is also equipped to perform testing on seizure problems and disorders.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder, is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches and forgetfulness. If left untreated, the disorder can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart problems. Treatment often involves use of a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP, which uses mild air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep.

Events

What: Sleep apnea 911 for physicians and dentists seminar

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10

Where: TownePlace Suites by Marriott, 4200 Sierra Vista Drive in Farmington

Cost: Free


What: Obstructive sleep apnea 101: Surgery, CPAP and oral appliance therapy seminar

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 11

Where: TownePlace Suites by Marriott, 4200 Sierra Vista Drive in Farmington

Cost: $99 if you register before Sept. 30; $149 after Sept. 30. Breakfast, lunch and snacks provided.

Register: Go to www.formstack.com/forms/sleepapnea-event

Information: Call 505-436-2720

Because some sleep disorders involve breathing problems, Cloud 9 is partnering with San Juan College's Respiratory Therapy Program, and Marshall plans to provide internship opportunities for students.

While there are several smaller sleep centers in Farmington, Marshall said there was a need for a larger-scale sleep center, like Cloud 9, to serve the Four Corners population.

"Because we have so many beds and are open seven days a week, we'll be able to better serve people in the area who work different hours, like those in the oil field or at the power plant," he said. "We have all of the equipment here, and we'll be able to diagnose and treat the patient right away."

Dr. Ed Razma, a certified sleep doctor, serves as Cloud 9's medical director and will provide professional interpretation of sleep tests.

The facility also partners with local dentists.

Dr. Michael Tornow with Sundance Dental said he sees two to three suspected cases of sleep disorders a day. He refers these patients to Cloud 9.

"I can usually just look in someone's mouth, and if there is excessive bone growth on the inside of the jaw or wear on the teeth, that's an indication (of a sleep disorder)," Tornow said. "What happens is the lower jaw relaxes and moves backwards during sleep and can block the airway. When the brain realizes the person's not breathing, they grind their teeth as they move the jaw forward to open the airway."

Marshall said sleep centers are becoming more common as awareness increases about the symptoms and effects of sleep disorders.

"People used to say, 'I just snore because I'm tired,' but now we're realizing that symptoms like snoring can indicate sleep apnea," he said. "It's just a matter of making people aware of what sleep disorders are and that they are a serious health problem."

Leigh Black Irvin covers health for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4610 and lirvin@daily-times.com Follow her @irvindailytimes on Twitter.