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Sleep Technologist

Sleep technologists play a key role in the evaluation and follow-up care of patients with sleep disorders. They set up and monitor patients during overnight sleep studies. These sleep studies are called “polysomnograms.” A sleep technologist also may be called a “polysomnographic technologist.” During a sleep study, sensors and electrodes record a patient’s vital signs. These include:

  • Brain waves
  • Heart activity
  • Oxygen levels
  • Breathing effort
  • Airflow
  • Eye, chin and muscle movement

A sleep technologist works under the general supervision of a doctor who is a sleep specialist. The sleep technologist gathers all of the data recorded during a sleep study. Then the doctor interprets the sleep study results and makes a diagnosis. Sleep technologists also help patients begin using CPAP therapy. This is the treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep technologists work at a sleep disorders center. They often work the night shift to perform overnight sleep studies. Some patients also require a sleep study during the day. Veteran sleep technologists may become sleep center managers. Both managers and more experienced sleep technologists may work daytime hours.

Typical Path of Education

  1. High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential
  2. Training program (CAAHEP or A-STEP) or associate’s degree

Professional Organization

American Association of Sleep Technologists

Classroom Tools

Download Sleep Career Powerpoint Presentation