The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine

History of the Center

A Tribute to Dr. William C. Dement

The Stanford Sleep Medicine Center has played a critical role in the development of the field of sleep medicine. The Center was founded by Dr. William C. Dement and Dr. Christian Guilleminault in the 1970’s and has been the site of numerous advances in sleep ever since. For example, Dr. Mary Carskadon’s invention of the Multiple Sleep Latency Test used to diagnose narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia and Dr. Rachel Manber’s launch of the first group therapy program for Insomnia in 1999. In addition, many groundbreaking genetic advances and discoveries have taken place at Stanford such as the 1999 discovery that Narcolepsy is caused by a lack of hypocretin, the identification of a genetic marker for sleep apnea which is also associated with Alzheimer’s and cardio vascular diseases.

Today the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine is an internationally renowned sleep center recognized for our outstanding patient care and innovative sleep medicine research. In 2009, the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center moved to a state-of-the-art facility in the new Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City. The sleep center has 14 clinical beds, four additional beds dedicated to research and treats more than 5,000 adults and children each year, including patients from all over the world. The clinic is fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and has an ACGME- accredited Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program.

The Stanford Sleep Medicine Center works to improve coordination among the various specialties involved in treating patients. Our faculty includes specialists in obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, pediatric sleep, parasomnias, restless legs syndrome, and other sleep disorders. Our clinical staff is comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pulmonary specialists, and pediatricians. In addition, we work closely with sleep apnea surgeons, dentists, and orthodontists, all of whom specialize in the treatment of sleep disorders. The Center has more than 100 doctors, research faculty, staff, and students who are devoted to the study and treatment of sleep and sleep disorders.

As the birthplace of sleep medicine, the center has a long history of important contributions to the field of sleep medicine. We strive to continue this trend by through growth and development. The Sleep Center spans across multiple scientific and medical specialties. Our research interests range from seeking the genes associated with sleep disorders to studying the neurological and chemical systems that regulate sleep and waking. We have several basic research labs ranging from genetics to neurobiology, as well as an active clinical research department with projects in areas such as insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, comparative effectiveness and disease registry.

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