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She would be a morning person if mornings started at noon. Art historian, taurus, coffee lover, traveler, F1 fan who hates to drive, and well experienced insomniac with one life goal, to sleep like a coala for up to 20 hours per day.

Careers in Sleep – How to Get a Sleep-Related Job

Since sleep has become such a vast field for researching, it is continually expanding as many people are having problems with sleep disorders. Sleep became an health-related industry worth millions of dollars, and many sleep laboratories and thousands of sleep clinics are open across the US.

It was never easier than today to change careers, invent new job positions, and custom tailor your perfect job. Since sleep has become such a vast field for researching, it is continually expanding due to the fact that many people are having problems with sleep disorders. Sleep became an health-related industry worth millions of dollars, and many Universities have created their sleep laboratories, thousand of sleep clinics are open across the US and in 2013. The first generation of graduated neuro-diagnosticians and sleep scientists got their BA degree at the University of North Carolina.

Since sleeping is related to health, usually some medical or health-related educational background is required, but some positions do not require a bachelor’s degree, or you need to do specialization only, it all depends on your previous education. If you are not thinking about pursuing a professional career in sleep, or you have a degree in something else, and you are done with scholar education, but you are still intrigued by the sleep-related jobs and want to get involved there are still some available options.

When people have a problem, especially when it comes to their health, they tend to find out everything about it, they go in-depth, do the research, read the books, and the best part is that they are also experiencing it in practice, so they are not staying stuck in theory. Sleep disorders are one of those things since they are so common among Americans that they have become almost a part of our lifestyle, somehow it is getting harder to avoid them, and the numbers are alarming. That situation opened the door to a whole new medical field, and although sleep disorders have been known and treated for centuries, the situation today is extreme, and that resulted with the topic that we are discussing here today.


Get Paid to Sleep

It sounds like a dream job, doesn’t it? It is not a joke, and although you can hardly consider this as a regular 9-to-5 job, you can occasionally get paid for sleeping in sleep centers. Many universities and hospitals need participants for their examinations and experiments in various sleep-related studies, and many of them are willing to pay their participants a decent amount of money for it. However, even though it is called a sleep study, sometimes you might need to do the opposite and stay awake for quite some time. The University of Colorado, for example, pays well and often has open calls for participants willing to do a sleep study.

Since today there are numerous sleep clinics in every bigger town, it is easy to get the information and apply for your dream job. Some studies need people of certain age, gender, or there are some other specific requirements that participants need to fulfill. Usually, the clinic will send you a questionnaire, and then they will inform you if you fit in their current research. Make sure that you are getting paid because some sleep studies offer compensations, whereas others are a voluntary type, which is ok if you are willing to do it just to see how it works for free.

Once you are accepted for a sleep study, there are numerous psychological and physical exams in front of you before you start a sleep study because researchers need to make sure that you are able to stay in a sleeping lab room for quite some time, for days even and that you can handle being isolated majority of the time. What can be challenging about this “job” are some demands that can be annoying, for example, you might have to stay in one sleeping or sitting position for a long time, it depends on the study, so make sure that you are able to perform it before you sign anything. Also, you will probably have to wear IV for a part of the study, electrodes will be attached to your head, and sometimes even rectal thermometers are included as a mandatory thing. While you are being isolated in a lab, you will not have access to your smartphone or computer, no clocks will be around you, no windows in the room so that the doctors can determine when daytime and nighttime are for you, so it can be boring and mentally exhausting even though you are not doing anything. And since some of these studies last up to a month, do not rush yourself into it because you are attracted to the money, start with short period studies from 2 to five days to see if you can make it and is it all worth it at the end. Payday is the best part of it because, to be honest, there was not much hard work for that money.


Options for Professional Career in Sleep

If you are interested in this area of research, a great way to check it out is to get an internship during college. Various internships are available and most common ones are internships in sleep research or science, dental sleep medicine, behavioral sleep medicine, and many others. Here we are going to list a few most common career paths which require proper educational background for people who are interested in involving themselves into sleep-related job fields.

When it comes to former education, after a bachelor degree, they need to get an MD or DO degree, and also do a residency and specialization or fellowship in sleep medicine.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is the only professional organization for sleep scientists.

National Board of Medical Care is the professional organization for sleep respiratory therapists.

Polysomnographic technologists usually supervise sleep technicians, who are in most cases on the way to get their associate’s degree or are in the process of specialization and they need six months of training. After an associate’s degree, sleep technologists usually get CAAHEP or A-STEP accreditation. This job position is probably the “easiest” one to achieve, but it is estimated that the educational requirements for this position are going to increase in the following few years.

American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) is a professional organization in charge of this sector.

American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) is a professional organization in charge of managers for sleep centers.

American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ASET) is the professional organization for neurodiagnostic technologists.

Education wise, neurologists need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biology or health field, then they need to go to medical school, complete an internship, fellowship, and residency, and in the end, to get a certification from the board. American Academy of Sleep Medicine is a professional organization in charge of sleep neurology.

Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine is a professional organization in charge of this field.


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