What Does a Sleep Tech Do?

A sleep technologist is a medical professional who works with patients who have sleep disorders. A sleep technologist’s duties include conducting sleep studies, analyzing data, and providing treatment recommendations.

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Job Description

A sleep technologist is a medical professional who works with patients who have sleep disorders. They conduct diagnostic testing to assess sleep patterns and determine the cause of the sleep disorder. They also work with patients to develop treatment plans.


Sleep techs, also known as polysomnographic technologists, are responsible for conducting sleep studies. They hook patients up to machines that measure brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and eye and leg movements during sleep. Sleep techs also may administer medications to help patients sleep during the study. They work under the supervision of a physician who interprets the results of the study.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for sleep technologists was $50,470 in May 2018, with the top earners making more than $76,870 per year.

Education and Training

A sleep tech, also called a polysomnographic technologist, is a health care professional who specializes in sleep medicine. Sleep techs work in sleep labs and hospitals, and their primary job is to conduct sleep studies. Sleep studies are tests that are done overnight in order to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.


There are no formal prerequisites for becoming a sleep technologist, but most employers prefer candidates to have at least an associate’s degree in a health-related field. Many community colleges offer programs specifically in sleep technology, and some four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sleep science.

While not required, certification as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) may improve job prospects. Certification requires completion of an accredited educational program and passing an exam. Some states have licensure requirements for sleep technologists.


Board certification for sleep technologists is available through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT). To be eligible for the Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) credential, applicants must have completed a postsecondary educational program in polysomnographic technology or its equivalent, and must have amassed at least one year of full-time, paid work experience in the field. Continuing education is required to maintain certification.

Job Outlook

Sleep techs are in high demand and the job outlook is very positive. They help people who have trouble sleeping by working with them to find the root of the problem and then find solutions. Sleep techs typically work in hospitals or sleep clinics.

Growth Rate

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for sleep technologists will grow by 20 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations

There are a variety of careers in the sleep field that may be a good fit for you. Below are some examples of positions that are related to sleep technologists:

Sleep medicine physician – A sleep medicine physician is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Sleep researcher – A sleep researcher studies the causes and effects of sleep and sleep disorders.

Sleep psychologist – A sleep psychologist helps people with sleep disorders by providing counseling and therapy.

Sleep nurse – A sleep nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of patients with sleep disorders.

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