Diagnose and care for patients who have difficulty sleeping.
What does a Somnologist do?
People with sleeping disorders can make a huge racket when they sleep. They may honk, squeak, snore, yell, talk, or crash into the furniture. They may also wake up every few hours at night, and then fall asleep during the day.
All in all, it’s a horrible way to live, and a Somnologist can make it stop. As a Somnologist, you determine what’s causing the sleeping problem, and provide treatments to restore normal sleep.
When patients make appointments to see Somnologists, they’re asked to complete a two-week sleep diary that details how much sleep they received and how their sleep was disturbed. That sleep diary is the first thing you study when a patient arrives in your office. Then, you perform a basic physical examination to make sure the patient’s throat, lungs, and heart are all working well.
Next, you ask them to spend the night. This is far from a fun slumber party, however, as the patient will be strapped to large monitors that your Somnology Technician will watch carefully throughout the night. In the morning, you read reports about how much sleep the person got, how well they were breathing, how often they moved, and how much noise they made.
To solve their issues, some patients need to change their lifestyle by losing weight, exercising, cutting back on coffee, or darkening their rooms. Others benefit from fancy equipment that you provide, which blows air into their noses and throats as they sleep. Still others need medications, and you prescribe those carefully. After each visit, you write a report for the patient’s Doctor, detailing what you’ve done to help the patient.