< Back to Sleep Careers

Sleep Specialist

Sleep specialists are doctors with a medical degree. They are board-certified in the subspecialty of sleep medicine. They enter the field of sleep medicine from one of six “parent” specialties:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry and Neurology

Sleep specialists assess patients who have sleep complaints. They order any tests that are necessary. Then they interpret the test results to diagnose sleep disorders. Finally, they develop a treatment plan based on the patient’s individual needs. In this way sleep specialists provide ongoing care to improve patients’ quality of life.

Sleep specialists work in a sleep disorders center. It can be located at a university or hospital. It also can be a “freestanding,” private practice that the sleep specialist owns. Sleep specialists also may be a professor at a medical school.

Typical Path of Education

  1. Bachelor's degree
  2. Medical degree (MD or DO)
  3. Residency
  4. Sleep medicine fellowship

Professional Organization

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Classroom Tools

Download Sleep Career Powerpoint Presentation