9 Best Sleep Doctors

Sleep is a fundamental pillar of health, yet millions of people struggle with sleep disorders that disrupt their daily lives. From insomnia and sleep apnea to restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy, these conditions can severely impact one’s physical and mental well-being. 

Fortunately, sleep medicine specialists, also known as sleep doctors, are dedicated to diagnosing and treating these disorders, helping patients achieve restful and restorative sleep.

In this article, we will introduce you to 9 of the best sleep doctors who have made significant contributions to the field of sleep medicine. These experts come from diverse medical backgrounds, including neurology, pulmonology, psychiatry, and otolaryngology, and have undergone specialized training to become board-certified sleep medicine specialists. 

1. Dr. John Williams, MD

Dr. John Williams is a board-certified sleep medicine physician and the founder of Online Sleep Doctor. He earned his medical degree from the University of Zagreb’s School of Medicine in 1993. Following this, Dr. Williams completed his residency in internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and subsequently pursued his fellowship in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. His research focuses on exploring the cellular mechanisms of vascular endothelial dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea.

With over 15 years of experience, Dr. John Williams is recognized as an expert in diagnosing and treating various sleep disorders.

Through his virtual sleep clinic at Online Sleep Doctor, Dr. Williams offers sleep telemedicine consultations for individuals struggling with conditions such as insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and circadian rhythm disorders.

The process starts with an online intake form where patients provide details about their sleep issues and medical history. Dr. Williams then reviews this information and schedules a video consultation to discuss symptoms, order any necessary sleep testing, and devise a personalized treatment plan.

Dr. Williams adopts an evidence-based approach, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, medication management when necessary, and offering guidance on sleep hygiene and lifestyle adjustments. His aim is to address the underlying causes rather than merely treating the symptoms.

For patients with sleep apnea, Dr. Williams can arrange home sleep apnea tests and prescribe CPAP or other therapy options during the virtual visit. His objective is to make high-quality sleep care easily accessible and convenient for patients nationwide.

With his expertise, patient-centered approach, and innovative online model, Dr. John Williams is highly regarded as one of the leading sleep doctors providing virtual care services.

2. Dr. Beth Malow, MD, MS – Tennessee

Dr. Beth Malow is a renowned sleep medicine specialist and the Director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds the prestigious Burry Endowed Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development and serves as the Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Neurology. 

Dr. Malow’s expertise lies in the interface of sleep disorders with neurological conditions, autism, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research has significantly contributed to understanding the impact of treating sleep disorders on these conditions. She is actively involved in developing standards of medical care for children with autism through her role as the principal investigator for Vanderbilt’s Autism Treatment Network. 

With board certifications in neurology, clinical neurophysiology, and sleep medicine, Dr. Malow has published extensively in the field of sleep medicine.  She has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other foundations to conduct patient-oriented research. 

Under Dr. Malow’s leadership, the Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Center has been accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and has won multiple awards for patient satisfaction.  The center offers advanced treatments, including sleep surgery options like hypoglossal nerve stimulation (Inspire Therapy), and provides access to promising clinical trials. 

3. Dr. Rajiv M. Joseph, MD, PhD – Texas

Dr. Rajiv M. Joseph is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist based in Plano, Texas. He holds a PhD from the University of London in addition to his medical degree from the Postgraduate Institute in Chandigarh, India. 

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Joseph has established a reputable practice in the Dallas area, specializing in the treatment of sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, neck and spine problems, and other neurological conditions.  He is board-certified in neurology, sleep medicine, and neurophysiology, demonstrating his expertise in these fields. 

Dr. Joseph’s practice, Rajiv Joseph MD PA, is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients with sleep disorders and neurological conditions.  He utilizes advanced diagnostic techniques and treatment approaches to ensure personalized and effective care for his patients.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Joseph is actively involved in the medical community, sharing his knowledge and expertise through various platforms.  His commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in neurology and sleep medicine contributes to his reputation as a leading specialist in the field.

4. Dr. Krishna M. Sundar, MD – Utah

Dr. Krishna M. Sundar is the Medical Director of the Sleep-Wake Center at the University of Utah. He is board-certified in sleep medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Dr. Sundar completed his medical training in India before pursuing a residency in internal medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University in New York. He then undertook fellowships in pulmonary, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine at the University of Utah .

After his training, Dr. Sundar worked for nearly a decade with the Utah Valley Pulmonary group, where he developed an interstitial lung disease program and directed pulmonary and critical care services. In 2012, he joined the University of Utah full-time to help expand the sleep medicine program and fellowship.

Under Dr. Sundar’s leadership, the Sleep-Wake Center has established several specialized clinics, including a multidisciplinary sleep apnea clinic with ENT, a follow-up program for CPAP-stable patients, and a multidisciplinary cough clinic incorporating speech behavioral therapy . He has extensive experience in all aspects of pulmonary and sleep medicine.

Dr. Sundar is highly regarded for his clinical expertise. He has been named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor in Pulmonary Disease from 2013-2017  and receives excellent patient satisfaction ratings, with comments praising his attentive listening, clear communication, and life-changing treatment recommendations .

5. Dr. Robert Doekel, Jr, MD – Alabama

Dr. Robert C. Doekel, Jr. is the Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama in Birmingham. He is a board-certified sleep medicine specialist with over 30 years of experience in the field.

After completing his medical training, Dr. Doekel established the Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama, one of the first accredited sleep centers in the state . Under his leadership, the center has provided comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of sleep disorders to patients across Alabama.

Dr. Doekel is highly respected in the sleep medicine community for his pioneering work and dedication to improving patient care. Along with Dr. G. Vernon Pegram, a clinical psychologist, he has helped advance the understanding and treatment of sleep disorders through clinical practice, research, and education.

The Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama, under Dr. Doekel’s direction, offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing including polysomnography, multiple sleep latency tests, and portable monitoring. The center provides personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs, utilizing therapies such as CPAP, oral appliances, medication, and behavioral modifications.

Dr. Doekel’s expertise and commitment to excellence have earned him a reputation as one of the leading sleep medicine specialists in the region. His patient-centered approach, coupled with his vast knowledge and experience, make him a valuable resource for individuals seeking relief from sleep disorders.

6. Dr. Mauricio Reinoso, MD

Dr. Mauricio Reinoso is a highly esteemed Medical Director at the Alaska Sleep Clinic, where he brings a wealth of experience and expertise in sleep medicine. His extensive background includes board certifications in multiple disciplines, including Sleep Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Reinoso’s medical journey began with his MD from the University of Guayaquil in Ecuador, where he graduated cum laude. He further honed his skills during his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, and a fellowship in the Thoracic Division at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, MN.

Dr. Reinoso has made significant contributions to the field of sleep medicine through his research and publications. He has authored and collaborated on numerous papers published in peer-reviewed journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The American Review of Respiratory Diseases, Respiration Physiology, and the Journal of Bronchology. His academic roles have included positions as an Instructor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic and as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Pulmonary Division in Texas.

At the Alaska Sleep Clinic, Dr. Reinoso is dedicated to providing comprehensive sleep medicine services to the community. His approach emphasizes the importance of accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plans for various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and insomnia. Dr. Reinoso’s commitment to advancing sleep medicine is evident in his continuous efforts to integrate effective medications and therapies to improve patient outcomes.

7. Dr. James M. Parish, MD

Dr. James M. Parish is a distinguished pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He serves as the Chair of the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine and the Medical Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Parish’s medical education includes a degree from the University of Illinois, followed by extensive training and experience in pulmonary and sleep medicine.

With over 45 years of experience, Dr. Parish is highly regarded for his expertise in diagnosing and treating a wide range of sleep disorders. His board certifications include Sleep Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine, reflecting his comprehensive knowledge and skill set in these areas. Dr. Parish’s clinical practice is characterized by a patient-centered approach, ensuring that each individual receives tailored care based on their specific needs and conditions.

Dr. Parish’s contributions to the field extend beyond clinical practice. He has been involved in various research projects and has published numerous articles in reputable medical journals. His leadership roles at the Mayo Clinic highlight his commitment to advancing the field of sleep medicine and improving patient care through innovative treatments and therapies.

8. Dr. Duane Birky, MD

Dr. Duane Birky is a highly experienced neurologist based in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and is board-certified in neurology as well as two different sleep medicine boards. Dr. Birky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, demonstrating his expertise and commitment to the field of sleep medicine.

Dr. Birky is affiliated with the Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock and the Baptist Health Specialty Clinic North Little Rock. He is known for his warm and focused bedside manner, providing personalized care to his patients with sleep disorders. Patients praise his compassion, attentiveness to their concerns, and ability to explain complex medical information in an understandable way.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Birky has been recognized for his wealth of experience in the field of sleep medicine. He deals with a high volume of patients with sleep disorders, making him well-versed in diagnosing and treating various sleep-related conditions.

9. Dr. Talene M. Churukian, DO

Dr. Talene M. Churukian is a board-certified sleep medicine specialist practicing in Palm Desert, California. She received her medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed her residency in internal medicine.

Dr. Churukian is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds a certification in sleep medicine. She is also licensed to practice medicine in California, with an active license through 2025.

Dr. Churukian has over 20 years of experience in the medical field and is highly rated by patients for her expertise in treating conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. She is affiliated with Eisenhower Medical Center, an accredited sleep center in the region.

Patients appreciate Dr. Churukian’s ability to effectively manage their sleep disorders through a combination of medications and other treatments. She is known for her thorough approach, taking the time to understand each patient’s unique circumstances and tailoring her treatment plans accordingly.

In addition to her medical degree, Dr. Churukian holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University, further enhancing her knowledge and understanding of population health and preventive medicine.

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