Meet America’s 7 Top Sleep Doctors

Sleep is a fundamental pillar of our health and well-being, yet millions of people struggle with sleep disorders that can significantly impact their quality of life. In the quest for better sleep, finding the right medical professional can make all the difference. 

This article highlights seven of the best sleep doctors in the field, each bringing unique expertise and innovative approaches to sleep medicine. From pioneering research to patient-centered care, these specialists are at the forefront of diagnosing and treating a wide range of sleep disorders.

1. Sleep Telemedicine With Dr. John Williams

Dr. John Williams is a highly respected sleep specialist and the founder of Online Sleep Doctor, a telemedicine platform dedicated to providing comprehensive sleep and pulmonary care. With an impressive educational background, Dr. Williams graduated from the University of Zagreb’s School of Medicine in 1993. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. This extensive training has equipped Dr. Williams with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in treating various sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea.

As a pioneer in sleep telemedicine, Dr. Williams has revolutionized the way patients access sleep care. His online platform offers convenient video consultations, at-home sleep testing, and personalized treatment plans, making quality sleep medicine accessible to patients from the comfort of their homes. Dr. Williams’ approach is patient-centered, emphasizing thorough diagnoses and tailored solutions for each individual’s unique sleep concerns. His services include comprehensive sleep disorder evaluations, CPAP management, and follow-up care to ensure optimal treatment outcomes.

2. Dr. Rajiv M. Joseph, MD, PhD

Dr. Rajiv M. Joseph, MD, PhD is a highly qualified sleep medicine specialist practicing in Texas. He is board certified in both neurology and sleep medicine, bringing a comprehensive understanding of neurological factors that can impact sleep health. Dr. Joseph completed his medical degree from the Postgraduate Institute in Chandigarh, India, and further enhanced his expertise with a Ph.D. from the University of London. His extensive training includes a residency at Henry Ford Hospital and a prestigious fellowship at Beth Israel and Harvard Medical School, providing him with a strong foundation in both clinical practice and research.

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Joseph has developed particular expertise in treating sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, and neck-related conditions. He currently practices at multiple locations, including the Baylor Scott and White Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas. Dr. Joseph’s patients consistently rate him highly for his attentive listening skills, thorough examinations, and clear communication. His commitment to patient care is evident in his outstanding ratings for time spent with patients and follow-up care. Dr. Joseph’s ability to explain conditions well and his caring attitude have made him a preferred choice among patients seeking sleep medicine expertise in the Texas area.

3. Dr. Robert Doekel, Jr, MD

Dr. Robert C. Doekel, Jr., MD is a distinguished figure in the field of sleep medicine in Alabama. As the Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama, Dr. Doekel has played a pivotal role in advancing sleep medicine in the state. He co-founded the first accredited sleep center in Alabama, which was among the first dozen clinical sleep centers established in the entire United States. This pioneering effort demonstrates Dr. Doekel’s long-standing commitment to improving sleep health care.

Dr. Doekel’s credentials are impressive, with board certifications in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. He received his M.D. from the University of Louisville and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His expertise was further honed through a Pulmonary fellowship at UAB and the University of Colorado Cardiopulmonary Research Laboratory. Dr. Doekel has been practicing for over 56 years, accumulating a wealth of experience in treating sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea. 

His leadership at the Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama has been instrumental in conducting over 1000 sleep studies annually and seeing about 100 new patients each month. Dr. Doekel’s dedication to patient care is evident in the center’s comprehensive approach, which includes follow-up appointments at 4 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year post-study, ensuring continuity of care and treatment effectiveness.

4. Dr. James M. Parish, MD

Dr. James M. Parish is a highly esteemed physician based in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a distinguished career spanning over four decades. He is board-certified in Sleep Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine, reflecting his extensive expertise in these fields. 

Dr. Parish is affiliated with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where he serves as the Medical Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine and has previously chaired the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. His educational background includes a medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, followed by a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Parish is particularly noted for his work in treating sleep apnea, a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. He has contributed significantly to the field through various research publications, including studies on the relationship between physical activity and sleep apnea. His commitment to patient care is evident from his positive patient reviews, highlighting his thoroughness, compassionate demeanor, and effective treatment outcomes. Dr. Parish’s dedication to advancing sleep medicine and his role in educating future medical professionals make him a standout figure in his field.

5. Dr. Michael L. Cohen, MD

Dr. Michael L. Cohen is a veteran sleep medicine and pulmonology specialist based in Walnut Creek, California, with over 40 years of experience. He earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in Pulmonary Disease at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Cohen has been a pivotal figure in the Walnut Creek medical community since 1974, serving in various leadership roles, including Director of Pulmonary Services at John Muir Medical Center and Medical Director of the Contra Costa Sleep Center.

Dr. Cohen is renowned for his personalized approach to patient care, emphasizing the importance of patient education to ensure compliance with therapy. His patients appreciate his clear communication, thorough examinations, and compassionate care, as reflected in their high satisfaction ratings. Dr. Cohen’s extensive experience and leadership in pulmonary and sleep medicine have earned him numerous accolades and a reputation as a trusted and highly skilled physician. Outside of his professional life, he enjoys spending time with his family and engaging in hobbies such as reading, exercising, and attending sporting events.

6. Dr. Talene M. Churukian, DO

Dr. Talene M. Churukian, DO, is a highly regarded sleep specialist based in Palm Desert, California. With over 21 years of experience, Dr. Churukian has established herself as a respected expert in both Internal Medicine and Sleep Medicine. She received her medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed her residency in internal medicine at the UCLA-VA Los Angeles Healthcare System. Dr. Churukian’s commitment to comprehensive patient care is evident in her approach to sleep medicine, where she treats a wide range of disorders including sleep-disordered breathing, narcolepsy, insomnia, circadian sleep phase disorders, sleep-related movement disorders, parasomnias, and hypersomnias.

Affiliated with Eisenhower Medical Center, Dr. Churukian has garnered numerous accolades from her patients, including five patient choice awards. Her patient-centered approach is reflected in her outstanding ratings across various categories, including thoroughness of examinations, responsiveness to questions, and overall patient trust. Dr. Churukian’s philosophy emphasizes treating the patient holistically, taking into account psychosocial and emotional factors that may affect sleep quality. Her vision for a comprehensive Sleep Center incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with any sleep disorder, showcasing her dedication to improving patients’ quality of life through better sleep health.

7. Dr. Lourdes DelRosso, MD

Dr. Lourdes DelRosso, MD, is a distinguished sleep physician and professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), specializing in Family Medicine and Sleep Medicine. With a diverse educational background, Dr. DelRosso earned her medical degree from the University of Miami, completed a residency in family medicine at Kaiser Permanente through UC Irvine, and a sleep medicine fellowship at Louisiana State University. Her commitment to education is evident through her master’s degree in medical education from the University of Pennsylvania and Valencia International University, as well as a PhD from the University of Portsmouth.

Dr. DelRosso’s expertise extends beyond clinical practice into research and global sleep health initiatives. She leads an international task force to establish diagnostic criteria for restless sleep disorder and has authored significant publications in the field. Her global outreach efforts include involvement in earthquake relief in Haiti, training community health workers in the Dominican Republic, and co-chairing the World Sleep Day committee. 

As the Medical Director of the UCSF-Fresno CCFMG Sleep Medicine Center and Program Director of the UCSF-Fresno sleep medicine fellowship program, Dr. DelRosso continues to shape the future of sleep medicine through education and research. Her multilingual skills in English and Spanish further enhance her ability to serve diverse patient populations and contribute to global sleep health initiatives.