Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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The Sleep Team

There is a sleep team near you that is ready to help with your sleep problems. Led by a board-certified sleep medicine physician, the sleep team is expertly trained to help with the management of any sleep disorder. If you have an ongoing sleep problem or struggle to stay awake during the day, the sleep team can help.

Accredited Sleep Center

To get help from the sleep team, contact a sleep center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). There are more than 2,500 AASM-accredited sleep centers in the U.S. Each of these facilities has a board-certified sleep medicine physician and an expertly trained team of health care professionals. Accredited sleep centers provide the highest quality of care for people who have a sleep problem.

An accredited sleep center is eligible to become a member of the AASM. Membership is another indicator that a sleep center is committed to patient care and safety. When selecting a sleep center, look for this Accredited Facility Member logo:

AASM-accredited facility member logo

The composition of the sleep team may vary between sleep centers. Your sleep team may include a combination of the following health care professionals:

Board-Certified Sleep Medicine Physician

As the captain of the sleep team, a board-certified sleep medicine physician has all the skills necessary to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Each sleep specialist has received special training that can prevent serious life-threatening diseases and improve your quality of life. Board certification shows a level of dedication and understanding of the field of sleep medicine.

A board-certified sleep medicine physician is the medical professional with the proper training to diagnose the full breadth of sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Surgeon

A sleep surgeon is an otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeon (ENT) with a specific interest in treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Some sleep surgeons are board-certified in sleep medicine. Sleep surgeons work closely with board-certified sleep physicians to provide care for patients. The surgeon will discuss potential types of surgery to treat your snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, including the risks and benefits of each. After surgery, a sleep study is necessary to evaluate results thoroughly.

Behavioral Sleep Medicine Specialist

Mental health professionals with training in behavioral sleep medicine can work with patients to address the behavioral and psychological factors that interfere with sleep. These specialists use cognitive-behavioral therapy to eliminate habits, behaviors and environmental disruptions that hinder sleep. A board-certified sleep medicine physician may refer you to a behavioral sleep medicine specialist for insomnia treatment or to help you get used to using CPAP for sleep apnea.

Advance Practice Registered Nurse/Physician Assistant

Nurses and physician assistants help the board-certified sleep medicine physician provide care for patients who have a sleep disorder. The role of nurses and physician assistants varies by state. Both practice within the scope of practice as defined by a state licensing board.

Qualified Dentist

A qualified dentist helps treat and manage your snoring and sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy while the board-certified sleep physician oversees care. The physician may refer you to a qualified dentist if you have mild or moderate sleep apnea. The physician will then work with you and the dentist to ensure the treatment is effective. The dentist will help by making any adjustments to the therapy, if necessary. Visit the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine website to find a dentist who is board-certified in dental sleep medicine.

Sleep Technologist

Sleep technologists assist in the evaluation and follow-up care of patients with sleep disorders. Sleep technologists interact directly with patients by assisting the board-certified sleep medicine physician with diagnostic tests at most sleep centers. These tests include an in-lab sleep study, Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT). Sleep technologists also analyze the results of sleep tests prior to the interpretation by the board-certified sleep medicine physician. They also provide assistance with home sleep apnea tests. Each sleep technologist has completed special training and obtained certification from a credentialing body such as the American Board of Sleep Medicine or the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.

If you think you have a sleep disorder, find an AASM-accredited sleep center near you to get help from the sleep team.