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What type of doctor specializes in sleep disorders?

Doctors that specialize in sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, etc) and their treatment are “Board Certified” in sleep medicine. They often have other, related, medical specialties as well, including pulmonology (specializing in the respiratory tract), otolaryngology (ENT or Ear, Nose, Throat concerns), cardiology (heart-related conditions) or neurology (disorders of the nervous system). The American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) is the medical board that provides certification credentials for sleep doctors.

Good quality sleep is essential to your good health! If you are having consistent, unexplained difficulty falling or staying asleep, are snoring heavily, or are just not waking up feeling rested, these are signs that it is time for a medical exam by a sleep doctor. Poor sleep quality has been associated with depression, weight gain, anxiety and other issues.

Sleep disorders may be caused by physical, environmental and/or emotional factors. Insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep), sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are among the more common problems patients can experience, but certainly not the only ones. As with all medical conditions, accurate diagnosis is the key to prompt, effective treatment. Expect a sleep doctor to discuss your situation, provide a medical exam and, if appropriate, prescribe testing—potentially even a sleep study, which is often the most efficient path to diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes a medication (a.k.a. a “sleeping pill”) is the right solution, but not always; fortunately there are many treatments available to patients today—including many non-medication options.

If your insurance permits you to see a specialist without a referral, visit a sleep doctor; they will be best equipped to diagnose your condition, and can provide referrals to other medical professionals if needed.

At Parkway SleepHealth Centers in Cary NC, our medical team members are Board Certified in sleep medicine. That means that they are well-versed in the many factors that can be causing chronic sleep difficulties in our patients. We are also accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a rigorous process that requires many steps to ensure a top level of expertise and professionalism, including having an ABSM-certified Medical Director. For more information about sleep medicine and sleep doctors that specialize in these disorders, visit the ABSM website, or the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.