If you are having trouble sleeping, you should probably see a sleep specialist. But if you think the problem is your mattress, try changing it first. See our best online mattress reviews.

Who Exactly Is a Sleep Specialist – and When Should You See One?

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If you are having trouble sleeping you probably need to see a sleep specialist. They diagnose and treat sleep disorders. But if you think the problem is your mattress, first try getting a new one. Read our best online mattress reviews.

Is there really anything like a sleep doctor?

Yes there is. They are usually full medical doctors with specializations in certain fields like psychology and certified to provide diagnosis and treatment for various sleep disorders.

You can check whether they have a certification from the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

If they do you’ll probably see this title among their other credentials – Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine (D, ABSM).

What Does a Sleep Specialist Do?

sleep specialist
A military doctor at a sleep lab conducts a sleep study

Sleep specialists mostly deal with sleep disorders. They diagnose and recommend treatment for various sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.

They can also diagnose and treat other sleep-related problems like snoring, bedwetting, nightmares, sleepwalking and unusual sleep patterns.

When Should I See a Sleep Specialist?

If you have had trouble sleeping for quite some time, it’s a good idea to see a sleep specialist.

Sleep disorders can come in different forms and symptoms. Maybe you are grinding your teeth in sleep, your sleeping patterns are constantly changing, you can’t stop oversleeping or maybe you just find it really difficult to fall asleep.

Basically anything that reduces the quality of your sleep is worth talking to a sleep specialist about.

If it’s nothing serious however, you can try a few basic techniques to improve your sleep quality.

Figure out whether there is something else affecting your sleep such as too much stress, noises or medication.

You can try meditation, lowering room temperature and changing your pre-sleep routine (eliminate gadgets, relax and avoid stimulating foods and drinks).

A lot of times the problem could also be your mattress. A poor quality mattress with inadequate support will often cause you to shift a lot at night and get less sleep. If you’ve had your mattress for 8-10 years, it’s probably time to get a new one. See our best online mattress reviews for recommendations.

What To Expect When You Go To a Sleep Specialist

sleep-center
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Sleep Center

Like a visit to any other doctor your visit to a sleep specialist will start with an initial diagnosis.

The specialist will take your medical history, understand your symptoms, ask about your current lifestyle, ask whether you are taking any medications and any other relevant information.

Based on this information the doctor may be able to make a full diagnosis and recommend a form of treatment. In some cases however they may recommend a sleep study.

This is usually performed in a specialized sleep clinic or sleep center. The sleep specialist may have one in their premises or you may be referred to a local one.

It’s a good idea to check whether a sleep clinic is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This will ensure the best results.

The purpose of a sleep study is to monitor your sleep-wake cycles in order to make a diagnosis. There are different types of sleep studies including a Polysomnogram which is the most common, a sleep latency test and a Maintenance of Wakefulness Test.

Based on your symptoms and an initial diagnosis, your doctor will recommend the best type of sleep study.

In some cases the sleep specialist may also recommend a home sleep test rather than have you show up at a sleep center. You’ll be given one or more devices to measure airflow, heart rate and other metrics during sleep.

What Treatment Will a Sleep Specialist Recommend?

It will depend on your particular problem.

In cases of mild sleep disorders the specialist may just recommend a lifestyle change. In more serious cases such as nightmares you may be required to undergo behavioral therapy.

The doctor may also recommend medication for certain types of sleep disorders.

After diagnosis the specialist will keep up with your progress through regular clinic visits to make sure the treatment is working as intended. They can modify the treatment at any time depending on your progress.


See My Favorite Products of 2021!
Select a list >MattressesToppers & PadsCooling/HeatingPillowsSheets
Touch a tab above to reveal my top picks for that category.
Of the 60+ beds I've reviewed, these are my current favorites:
My Top PickType of MattressPrice
1. Saatva ClassicInnerspring$799 - $1,599
Save $200!
2. Puffy LUX
Luxury Foam$1,145 – $1,695
Save $300!
3. Leesa Original
Budget Foam$594-$1019
"Up to $180 off mattresses
+ FREE SHIPPING"
4. Nest Alexander HybridLuxury Hybrid$949-$1,699
Save 20% USE CODE: PREzzzDAY!
5. PlushBeds Botanical BlissLuxury Organic Latex$1049 – $2,048save $1,200 off Bedroom Mattresses + Free Luxury Sheet Set.
6. EcoterraBudget Latex$749 - $1,249
$150 off mattresses with code SALE150
7. DreamcloudLuxury PillowTop$599-$1,099
Free Sheets, Protector and Pillows
8. LaylaFlippable/2-Sided$499 - $999
Save $200!
9. Big FigFor Plus-Sized People$1,299 - $1,999
Save $200 with code: BEYOU
10. HelixCustom-Fit$500 - $1,149
Save $200!
Mattress toppers & pads are a great way to cool your bed and extend its life.
Topper SizeMaterialFirmnessWarr.
LINENSPA
LINENSPA 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin
Best Value2"Gel memory foamMedium3 years
MOLECULE AIRTEC
MOLECULE AIRTEC
Best Comfort3"Memory foamMedium-firm5 years
MyPillow
MyPillow Three-inch Mattress Bed Topper (Twin)
Best pressure point relief3"FoamMedium-firm10 years
LUCID
LUCID 2-Inch Ventilated Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Full
Best cooling2"Gel memory foamSoft3 years
Milemont
Milemont Mattress Topper Twin, 2-Inch Cool Swirl Gel Mattress Topper for Twin Size Bed, Blue
Best for back pain2"Gel memory foamMedium10 years
Pure Green
Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper - Firm - 2 Inch - Queen Size
Best for stomach sleepers2"Natural latexExtra-firm5 years
Sleep Innovations
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Enhanced Support, King, Made in the US Mattress Topper
Best for side sleepers4"Gel memory foamSoft10 years
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Best temperature regulation-Forced Air-1 year
TEMPUR ProForm
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper Medium Firm, Full, White
Best memory foam3"Memory foamMedium-firm10 years
Avocado Green
Avocado Green
Best organic2"Organic latexSoft/firm10 years
Bed cooling/heating systems have come a long way – especially the BedJet, my favorite.
SystemTypeBest For...Temp. RangeControl
BedJet V3
BedJet V3
Air cooledBEST OVERALL (esp. for night sweats)66°F-104°FWireless remote control/smartphone app
ChiliPad Cube 3.0
Chili Technology chiliPAD Cube 3.0 - ME and WE Zones - Cooling and Heating Mattress Pad - Individual Temperature Control, Great Sleep Enhancement, Wireless Remote Integration (Queen (80" L x 60" W))
Water cooledBest water cooling system55°F-115°FWireless remote control
Ooler Sleep System
Ooler Sleep System
Water cooledBest temperature control55°F-115°FSmartphone app via Bluetooth
The Pod by Eight Sleep
The Pod by Eight Sleep
Water cooledBest smart cooling system55°F-115°FSmartphone app/smart voice assistant
Mattress Cooler "Classic"
2020 Mattress Cooler "Classic" Chilled Water Sleep Cooling System (Now with a Spare "27x63" Cooling Pad)
Water cooledBest budget cooling systemN/AWireless remote control
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
Air cooledN/ARemote control
bFan Cooling System
bFan Cooling System
FanBest bed fanN/AWired remote control
Brookstone bed fan
Brookstone Bed Fan with Wireless Remote
FanN/AWireless remote control
These pillows excel at relieving neck and shoulder pain:
PillowWhy I Like It
PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
Best Cooling Mattress Pads

best shredded latex pillow for side sleepers
Coop Home Goods Memory Foam
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow - Hypoallergenic Cross-Cut Memory Foam Fill - Lulltra Washable Cover from Bamboo Derived Rayon - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold Certified - Queen
perennial, proven Amazon Choice with over 16,000 reviews
MARNUR Contour Pillow
MARNUR Cervical Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Contour Pillows for Neck Pain Ergonomic Pillow with RoHS Certification and Pillowcase Covers, White(23.5×14.5×5.5 Inch)
perfect spine support using a groove down the middle
SleepRightSplintek Side
SleepRight Splintek Side Sleeping Pillow Memory Foam Pillow – Best Pillow for Sleeping On Your Side – 24" x 5" Standard Size
full facial cradle plus a perfectly-angled shoulder cradle
Xtreme Comforts Adjustable Pillow
Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic, Adjustable Thickness, Kool-Flow Micro Vented Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow for Sleeping, Back, Stomach & Side Sleepers, Queen Size, Made in USA
thinner and softer than most, so your head will not bend back
UTTU Sandwich Pillow
UTTU Sandwich Pillow, Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, Bamboo Pillow for Sleeping, Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain, Neck Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, Orthopedic Contour Pillow, CertiPUR-US
designed specifically for neck support and alignment.
Mediflow Water Pillow
Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow, clinically Proven to Reduce Neck Pain & Improve Sleep. Therapeutic, Ideal for People Looking for Proper Neck Support
clinical tests prove it reduces neck pain
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow - Orthopedic Contour Memory Foam Pillow for Back and Side Sleepers with Neck and Spine Support - Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
best overall design with lots of position choices
KaUa Neck Roll
K Ka Ua Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster with Bamboo Cover – Memory Foam Spine Lumbar Traction Spondylosis Support 4” Diameter x 17 “Length (4 Inch)
1,000s of satisfied customers & rave reviews
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
J-Pillow Chin Supporting Travel Pillow - 2020 Version - British Invention of The Year Winner - Supports Your Head, Neck & Chin (Blue)
added chin support prevents your head from falling forward.
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows, Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain - for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers, Free Pillowcase Included ( Firm & Queen)
Designed to support and cushion you neck and shoulders
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
AVOCADO GREEN PILLOW-Loveable non-toxic pillow has an adjustable fill, made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified kapok.
An all-natural, organic and vegan pillow with an adjustable loft to suit all sleeping positions
These are my favorite luxury sheet sets sold online:
Best Luxury SheetsIncludesSizesColours
Parachute
Parachute
Fitted sheet + two pillowcasesTwin to Cal KingSand, Slate, White, Light Grey, Blue
Brooklinen
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set – Includes 1 Flat Sheet, 1 Fitted Sheet + 2 Pillowcases – 480 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set – 100 Percent Long-Staple Cotton – Oeko-TEX Certified – Smoke – Twin
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Cream, Steel, Smoke, Smoke Stripe
Saatva
Saatva
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Ivory, Grey
Boll and Branch
Boll & Branch Luxury Fair Trade Long Staple Organic Cotton Sheet Set - Full, Natural
one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.Full, Queen, King, Cal King onlyWhite, Solid Natural, Striped White, Pewter
Best For Specific Needs Soft and Warm: Parachute’s Sateen sheets Most Luxurious: Brooklinen’s Linen sheets Organic Luxury Sheets:  Saatva Lofton Organic sheets Breathable/Cool: Percale sheets from Parachute or Brooklinen

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