Me­di­cal spe­cial­ty: Sleep medi­cine

Sleep medicine is a medical field that deals with the causes, diagnosis, and effects of treatment of sleep disturbances or sleep-wake problems. A total of 88 different sleep disturbances can be distinguished.

The diagnosis is usually made in a specialized sleep laboratory. For this purpose, patients are usually connected to a so-called polysomnography device for two nights. With this device, parameters and body signals can be measured and evaluated, such as brain waves, airflow, body temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation in the blood, muscle tension, respiratory motion, eye movements and snoring noises.

The German Federal Chamber of Physicians schedules a 18-month training period in a sleep laboratory for all physicians that want to become a specialist in sleep medicine. Such a training can be completed by medical doctors from the following medical disciplines:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Psychotherapy

The training contents include:

  • Knowledge of the physiology of sleep
  • Knowledge of the causes and symptoms of various sleep disorders
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic skills for treating sleep disorders