A sleep medicine specialist, also known as a somnologist, is a doctor who diagnoses and treats sleep disorders. Many sleep specialists first train in internal medicine, psychiatry, or neurology before specializing in sleep medicine.
What conditions do somnologists treat?
Sleep specialists treat a variety of conditions, such as:
The exact nature of your sleep disorder may depend on some factors, such as:
When should I contact a sleep medicine specialist?
You may benefit from speaking with a sleep specialist if you’re not getting enough sleep, have difficulty falling or staying asleep, or feel unrested. Your primary care physician may also refer you to a specialist if they believe specific symptoms result from a sleep disorder.
What can I expect from my sleep medicine specialist appointment?
During your first sleep specialist appointment, your doctor will ask questions to determine the root cause of your sleep problems. Depending on your answers, your sleep specialist may also recommend diagnostic tests or a sleep study. During sleep studies, a technician will monitor your brainwaves, heart rate, eye movement, and more. Your sleep medicine specialist will use the findings from the sleep study to help diagnose your sleep disorder and put together your treatment plan.
What questions should I ask my sleep medicine specialist?
It’s important that you prepare for your appointment with a somnologist. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of good questions to ask your doctor:
You may use these questions as a starting point, but feel free to add your own. A good practice is to also ask for additional information and take notes during your appointment.