The Development of Sleep Medicine: A Historical Sketch.

Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

PubMedID: 27250813

Schulz H, Salzarulo P. The Development of Sleep Medicine: A Historical Sketch. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016;.
For centuries the scope of sleep disorders in medical writings was limited to those disturbances which were either perceived by the sleeper him- or herself as troublesome, such as insomnia, or which were recognized by an observer as strange behavioral acts during sleep, such as sleepwalking or sleep terrors. Awareness of other sleep disorders, which are caused by malfunction of a physiological system during sleep, such as sleep-related respiratory disorders, were widely unknown or ignored before sleep monitoring techniques became available, mainly in the second half of the 20(th) century. Finally, circadian sleep-wake disorders were recognized as a group of disturbances by its own only when chronobiology and sleep research began to interact extensively in the last two decades of the 20(th) century. Sleep medicine as a medical specialty with its own diagnostic procedures and therapeutic strategies could be established only when key findings in neurophysiology and basic sleep research allowed a breakthrough in the understanding of the sleeping brain, mainly since the second half of the last century.