What is the difference between sleep medicine and neurology?

What is sleep medicine?

Sleep medicine is a medical field of subspecialty in the areas of sleep-related issues and problems. Sleep medicine specializes in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders and sleep-related problems.

Sleep disorders are more common and if not treated properly on time can lead to many life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.

Since prevention is better than cure, we encourage you to visit Michigan Medicine sleep disorders center for timely diagnosis and treatment of various sleep disorders.

It is encouraged to visit Michigan medicine sleep disorder center to see a sleep medicine specialist.


Sleep disorder is a medical condition in which the person is not able to sleep soundly. The conditions can affect and change the way a person sleeps. and contributed to various physical, mental, and emotional issues. In worse case scenarios, sleep disorders can also contribute to worsening mental health.


Sleep disorders are broadly classified into approximately 80 categories, however, the following are the most common sleep disorders


Insomnia is a medical condition in which patients find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, a patient with insomnia may face one or more of these:

  1.  Hard time falling asleep
  2. Interrupted sleep
  3. Difficulty in going back to sleep
  4. Waking up early in the morning
  5. Faces fatigue, mood swings, anxiety issues, emotional problems, and focus problems during the daytime, due to poor sleep.


It is defined by excessive daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks. Patients often find it difficult to fall asleep, regardless of their situation and circumstances. Furthermore, if you suffer from Narcolepsy, it may also badly affect your life routine.


People with this syndrome feel unpleasant and irresistible sensations in their legs and an urge to continuously move their legs. It is believed that people with iron deficiency are more likely at risk of restless leg syndrome.


Sleep apnea is potentially a serious disorder. In sleep apnea, the symptoms include unusual breathing patterns, which if not treated on time can lead to breathing cessation during sleep.


Parasomnias are sleep attacks in which a person may witness unusual physical events that disturb sleep. The attacks can take place before falling asleep or during sleep. A parasomnia patient does unusual things such as talk or express feelings, walk, or abnormal movements during sleep.

What is neurology?

A neurologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the spinal code and brain. They are also well-versed in dealing with conditions related to the peripheral nerves and autonomic nervous system.

It is the part of our nervous system that control our body functions without us even thinking about them such as digestion, heartbeat, and, breathing.

A neurologist treats a wide variety of medical problems such as

  • Headaches and migraine
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson`s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer`s
  • Memory disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Brain tumors
  • Spinal tumors

Difference between a Sleep medicine and a Neurologist

Not every neurologist is a sleep medicine specialist. Only those neurologists who complete a one-year fellowship in sleep medicine after neurology studies have become board certified in sleep medicine.

Conversely, not every sleep medicine specialist is a neurologist. A medical physician from other areas of the clinical background to become a board-certified sleep doctor by completing a one-year fellowship in sleep medicine.

Sleep physicians also called Sonologists, come from different medical backgrounds with specialized training in sleep medicine.

To become a board-certified sleep medicine specialist, medical students are required to complete their studies in their respective areas of medicine along with residency. Furthermore, these physicians do a one-year sleep medicine fellowship along with research and medical training. During this specialized training, these medical professionals learn about the functions of the body involved in normal sleep. Moreover, somnologist also learn what goes wrong in this normal sleeping process that causes sleep disorders. They gain the knowledge and expertise to diagnose a sleep disorder and plan treatment according to the disorder. Sleep specialists are skilled in treating people of all ages.

Sometimes a sleep medicine specialist collaborates with another medical physician to make a treatment plan for sleep disorder patients. They may include

  • Psychologist—- specialized in sleep psychology, sometimes sleep disorders are a result of psychological issues.
  • Dentist—-to design and fit dental devices for patients with sleep apnea.
  • Neurologist—– when sleep disorders related to the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.

Let`s discuss sleep disorders related to neurology.

Types of neurological sleep disorder

There are several sleep problems related to the brain, such as wakefulness and control of sleep. It causes disturbance in the normal sleeping pattern. Sleep issues related to the brain and nervous system are neurological sleep disorders.

Primary neurological sleep disorders include;

  • Central sleep apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Parasomnia
  • REM
  • Central nervous system hypersomnia
  • Circadian rhythm disorder
  • Fatal familial insomnia

Apart, from this, some neurological problems can cause sleep disorders. They may include;

  • Strokes
  • Parkinson`s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Reasons to see a neurologist for sleep problems

Sleep disorders are classified as problems with the quality and quantity of sleep. These disorders have physical, mental, and emotional causes. Usually, a sleep medicine specialist provides care to patients experiencing sleep disorders. However, in certain cases when sleep problem is more likely related to brain and nervous system issues, a sleep medicine specialist suggests seeing a neurologist.

Here, the top most beneficial reasons to see a neurologist are discussed:

They understand how the brain works

A neurologist can understand the functions of the brain better than any other medical physician. As the brain is responsible for all the functions of a body, the sleep process is also controlled by the brain. This means that there are so many neurological aspects involved in a sleep disorder. A neurologist can encounter the issue and plan more effective treatment for a sleep disorder when it is associated with neurological factors.

Sleep disorders are often related to neurological conditions

Another reason to see a neurologist for a sleep disorder is that many sleep problems occur due to neurological conditions such as strokes, epilepsy, and, neurodegenerative disease. since neurologists are specialized in the treatment of these a neurological disorders, they are more likely to treat related sleep problems more effectively.

Neurological treatments can solve sleep problems

Since many sleep problems are associated with neurological factors, seeing a neurologist is a wise choice. It ensures you get the right diagnosis and effective treatment for your sleep problem. Instead of diagnosing a problem, a neurologist can treat diseases related to neurology, which eventually improves sleep quality.

Wrap up 

Sleep problems in neurology and psychiatry is a group of disorders with diverse manifestations. A timely diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent life-threatening diseases and the worsening of the present condition.

According to American Diabetes Association “, 40% of insomnia patients are suspected to be a victim of mental health disorder.”

It is better to prevent yourself from this chronic disease by keeping a check on your sleep symptoms. If you find persistent sleep deprivation, immediately rush to visit a sleep specialist at a lung n sleep center to cure it. You can easily find the best  Lung N Sleep disorder center near you to book an appointment.

Written by Asma

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