Internist or Family Practice Physician
If you’re experiencing any problems with your sleep, your first stop should be your primary care physician – an internist, a family practice physician, or, in the case of children, a pediatrician.
A pediatrician is an internist who has completed additional training in caring for the health of children. A pediatrician will be able to diagnose and prescribe the appropriate treatment for a child suffering with any symptoms of inadequate sleep.
A developmental-behavioral pediatrician is a pediatrician with additional training to treat children with developmental, learning, or behavioral problems. Children experiencing sleep disorders will most likely be referred to a developmental-behavioral pediatrician.
Sleep Medicine Specialists
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) offers subspecialty certification in sleep medicine to board-certified specialists in neurology, child neurology, internal medicine, otolaryngology (ENT), pediatrics, or family medicine. Sleep medicine specialists are experts in the diagnosis and management of sleep-related clinical conditions, including circadian rhythm disorders.
A patient suffering with symptoms of insomnia may be referred to a neurologist in order to rule out a problem with the nervous system. A neurologist is a physician who has undergone additional training to diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system. While many people associate a neurologist with treating brain injuries, this is just one facet of a neurologist's responsibility and expertise. A neurologist can address diseases of the spinal cord, nerves, and muscles that affect the operation of the nervous system.
Psychologists & Psychiatrists
A patient that is suffering with a sleep disorder may need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist, particularly if they are undergoing behavioral therapy as part of treatment, or they are being treated for a mental disorder that is causing the insomnia. A psychologist is a social scientist who studies behavior and mental processes, generally in a research or clinical setting. A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
Alternative therapies, such as relaxation techniques have been proven to help people suffering with insomnia. A patient may see a hypnotherapist or a massage therapist to seek treatment.