Our Clinic & Team
Our expert-trained clinicians, coaches, and trainers are eager and able to solve the most challenging sleep problems.
About The Insomnia Clinic
We are a group of healthcare, research, and education professionals who believe that natural sleep is essential for optimal health and maximum quality of life. We believe there is a solution to every sleep problem and are passionate about helping people find their personal sleep solution. We believe that healthy sleep is possible for everyone. We also believe that healthy sleep is almost always possible without the use of medication.
Insomnia is a big problem. An estimated 30% of adults struggle with insomnia symptoms or an insomnia disorder that negatively affects their health or quality of life. We mainly serve two types of insomnia sufferers. The first type is individuals who are looking to solve an insomnia problem and are unwilling to take a medication. The second type is individuals who are already taking sleep medications and need help achieving healthy sleep without them.
The science on solving the problem of poor sleep without medication reveals that there are many pathways back to better sleep. This is why the services of The Insomnia Clinic are based on a stepped-care model. In this model there are levels of care, with each level having a greater degree of intervention and support.
Not everyone needs to see a healthcare provider in order to restore healthy, natural sleep. While some patients will benefit from interventions as simple as a self-help book or short educational workshop, others will need one-on-one clinical evaluation and treatment. This is why we provide a full spectrum of educational and clinical services to help you achieve better sleep quickly and in the simplest and most affordable way possible.
Sleep medications like Ambien, Lunesta, Belsomra, temazepam, trazodone, amitriptyline, benzodiazepines, and others have a critical role in our health care system. They help millions of Americans sleep better and, through better sleep, live healthier, happier lives. However, long-term use of sleep medications is associated with meaningful risk of potentially dangerous side effects as well as psychological and/or physical dependence.
Additionally, for a majority of individuals, sleep medications are unnecessary. There is now solid research evidence showing that nonmedication treatments called cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), like those we offer through The Insomnia Clinic, are as effective as sleep medications and are beneficial for as many as 90% of insomnia sufferers.
The Insomnia Clinic evolved from the personal experiences of our founder, Dr. Robert N. Glidewell, who struggled with poor sleep for the first three decades of his life. His personal struggles with insomnia, his training as a psychologist and sleep expert, and his personal and professional experience within our healthcare system has shaped everything we do and everything we believe about the problem of poor sleep. Read Dr. Glidewell’s personal sleep story.
Meet Our Team
We understand your sleep problems and have the expertise and experience to help you overcome them.
Michele Okun, PhD
Director, Sleep Education and Training
Dr. Okun has over 20 years of experience researching, studying, and teaching the importance of healthy sleep. She received her doctoral degree in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado Denver in 2005. She then moved to Pittsburgh, PA, for a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship and joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry in 2008.
In 2014, Dr. Okun returned to Colorado to continue her research on sleep and pregnancy and to join the faculty of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as the Director of Clinical and Biobehavioral Research.
Dr. Okun has authored or co-authored over four dozen scientific articles and book chapters.
Jessi Pettigrew, LCSW
Clinical Insomnia Specialist
Jessi Pettigrew is a licensed clinical social worker in Colorado. She has over 10 years of clinical experience and extensive training in insomnia and sleep disorders, especially Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). In addition, she enjoys working with individuals with anxiety disorders, mood disorders and trauma.
Jessi earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She is a PhD Candidate in Social Work at Colorado State University, where her research focuses on sleep equity and sleep as a mechanism for improved quality of life. Jessi brings years of clinical experience to her current studies and hopes to use her clinical experience to inform future research and teaching in the field of social work.
Shannon Guernsey, LCSW
Shannon Guernsey is an author, clinical insomnia specialist, and licensed clinical social worker with over 1000 hours of postgraduate training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of insomnia, sleep aid dependence, and other sleep disorders. She finds fulfillment in helping others to identify their inner strengths and overcome barriers to ultimately find joy in their everyday lives.
Prior to joining the clinic, she applied her education and training in Clinical Social Work to change people’s lives for the better in healthcare and nonprofit settings including Children’s Hospital Colorado. She received her Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Fullerton in 2015.
Lisa Esparza, CMA
Patient Care Coordinator
Lisa is a native of Colorado and has been working professionally as a Certified Medical Assistant for more than 16 years. She brings her extensive clinical and administrative knowledge to The Insomnia Clinic team. She strives to create outstanding patient care experiences and enjoys supporting each patient throughout their journey at the clinic. Her goal is to go above and beyond in bringing first class care to every patient. In her downtime she enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, and hiking in the beautiful Colorado weather.
Senior Patient Care Coordinator
Roxanne joined The Insomnia Clinic in 2010. Her professional background includes more than 15 years of patient support and medical office management experience to include work in the office of Quality Management at a Northwest Colorado hospital. She is passionate about creating remarkable patient experiences and ensuring that each patient feels cared for and supported as they start their journey at the clinic. In her spare time, she enjoys her grandchildren and creating and playing with her extensive dollhouse and miniature collection.
Ann discovered her passion for medical billing while working in her first medical office in 1997. Passion? Really? Frustrated by the battles healthcare providers had to fight with insurance companies, she turned frustration into passion by working tirelessly to get her providers fair treatment. For more than 20 years she has been navigating the health insurance industry and advocating for healthcare providers and their patients. As a member of The Insomnia Clinic team she brings her extensive knowledge and experience to support our patients in getting maximum reimbursement from their healthcare insurance and other resources.