Sleep Management Certification
Sleep medicine has become an increasingly important field of study in recent years, growing along with our burgeoning knowledge of sleep science and heightened awareness of sleep disorders. However, the need for clinical practitioners has far outstripped the medical field’s ability to train certified practitioners. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the primary certifying organization for sleep clinicians, lists approximately 10,000 members in 20121. This may seem like a significant number, but when considering that the size of the current US adult population exceeds 250 million2 and studies by the Institute of Medicine reporting 50-70 million adult Americans with sleep problems3, clearly there are not nearly enough trained clinicians to meet the need.
There are many healthcare providers in all medical fields who have clients presenting with significant sleep issues that, at minimum, impact the quality of care, if not actually require management. In the course of treating a variety of maladies — in particular mood disorders which almost always have a disordered sleep component — basic knowledge of sleep medicine may go a long way toward providing comprehensive and improved clinical care.
Most insurers today recognize the pervasiveness of sleep disorders, their impact on other diseases processes and contribution to increase use of healthcare facilities, so consequently provide reimbursement. Finally, while there exist Board-certifying training programs, these are multiple year fellowships offered to highly trained medical professionals and are few. There are just not enough training programs to go around. Further, there are many healthcare providers who have neither the time nor the inclination to put their practices on hold while they spend 2-3 years acquiring the necessary training to become sleep specialists.
The Optimal Sleep certification programs can be taken in a series of weekly consecutive weeknight sessions offered throughout the year, and are compatible with managing an active clinical practice at the same time. All sessions are audio/video recorded for later review and/or make-up. Classes are purposefully kept small to allow time for in depth discussion, any and all questions to be asked and answered, and individual case supervision. The SMC program provides specific training to manage sleep at a basic (Level 1), advanced (Level 2) or master level (Level 3), depending on your particular needs.
3 Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.