What is a SLEEP DOCTOR?
A sleep doctor is a health professional who addresses issues relating to sleep, sleep disorders and sleep health. A sleep doctor may be a sleep physician or a sleep psychologist. Each type of sleep doctor deals with different aspects of sleep health.
Most sleep physicians have extra training in sleep medicine. Fellowship training programs exist that offer additional training after residency training. Many sleep physicians are board certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine or a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Sleep physicians may have backgrounds in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, and otorhinolaryngology (ENT).
Sleep psychologists also have additional training in sleep health and sleep disorders. Psychologists often deal with insomnia and behavior issues pertaining to sleep.
SLEEP DISORDER TOPICS
- What is Sleep? – Basics of Sleep and Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Periodic Leg Movements (PLMS)
- REM behavior Disorders
- Children and Sleep
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Do you need a sleep doctor?
Well, lets back up a bit. First, if you are having signs or symptoms of a sleep disorder, your first step is to talk to your primary care provider. Are you sleepy during the daytime regularly? Has your bed partner told you that you gasp during sleep, or that there are regular pauses in your breathing? Do you often awaken feeling unrefreshed? These are symptoms of some sleep disorders. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If your healthcare provider feels that you need further evaluation, you may be referred to a sleep doctor and/or a sleep center for sleep evaluation. There are sleep centers in every state and every major city.
Where do sleep doctors work?
Sleep doctors work in several different types of locations. Some work in sleep medicine part time and in another field like pulmonary, neurology, internal medicine, psychology, pediatrics, or ENT surgery. Some sleep doctors work in private practice. Others work in hospitals. There are sleep doctors in every major city of the United States.
How do I become a sleep doctors?
There are several pathways to becoming a sleep professional. First, you have decide if you want to be a physician or non-physician doctoral professional. Non-physicians are often Ph.D’s who come from various backgrounds – often psychology. Physicians generally complete four years of medical school, and then complete post-graduate training which includes internship and residency. This may take 3 – 5 years. After residency aspiring sleep doctor physicians usually complete a specialized sleep medicine fellowship. This is usually another 1-2 years.
American Sleep Association has been a reference to sleep doctors and the patients that they care for since 2002.
Visit the ASA Forums to find out more about sleep doctors, sleep psychologists and sleep dentists.