Sleep Technician Schools and Training Programs

Read on to find out about sleep technician schools and training programs. Formal training is typically required and in some cases can take less than a year. Learn what these programs teach and where you can take them. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Sleep technicians can complete a program in as short as six months or as long as two years. These programs will vary in their exposure to the field but can prepare you to take the Registered Polysomnographic Technologist test and become certified.

Programs Six-month, one-year, or two-year program from an accredited institution or associate's degree
Courses Anatomy, medical terminology, abnormal sleep patterns
Certification Registered Polysomnographic Technologist

What Will I Do as a Sleep Technician?

As a sleep technician, you'll oversee sleep studies ordered by physicians. You'll monitor patients' breathing rates and test for how long it takes them to fall asleep and other factors. To do this, you'll use electroencephalograms (EEGs), which measure brain waves, electrocardiograms (EKGs), which monitor heart rate, electrooculograms (EOCs), which track eye movement, and electromyograms (EMGs), which keep tabs on muscle movement.

How Can I Become a Sleep Technician?

A career as a sleep technician requires less educational preparation than a career as a sleep technologist. In a sleep clinic or lab, technicians may work under the supervision of technologists, while technologists work directly under the supervision of physicians. Both technicians and technologists may be referred to as polysomnographers.

According to the American Association of Sleep Technologists, the minimum educational requirement for sleep technicians is typically a 1-year training program from an accredited institution, although six months of documented experience as a sleep trainee may also be acceptable. Technologists are required to have at least an associate's degree, more than a year of experience or formal certification.

Which Schools Offer Sleep Technician Programs?

Programs designed to train sleep technicians may last between six months and two years. These programs typically prepare you for an entry-level position in a sleep lab or clinic. You might choose a sleep technician training program as a first step toward becoming a sleep technologist. Most of these programs are offered by community or technical colleges, such as:

  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Southeast Community College
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • College of DuPage
  • J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
  • Manchester Community College
  • GateWay Community College

What Courses Will I Take?

Course topics in a technologist training program might include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and basic sleep medicine principles. More specialized courses include sleep staging, abnormal sleep patterns, respiratory events and EEG signal collection. You'll also learn to explain sleep disorders and possible treatments to patients and their families. Other details you can expect to learn in a sleep technology certificate program include:

  • Instrumentation set-up and calibration
  • Sleep monitoring techniques
  • Patient-technician interaction
  • Sleep scoring
  • CPAP equipment and applications
  • Sleep technology theory
  • Patient safety

What Other Training is Available?

The Accredited Sleep Technologist Education Program, or A-STEP, was developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and provides standardized training. One can enroll in the No Sleep Lab Experience track, which includes an 80-hour introductory course covering such topics as sleep disorders and patient care, as well as online self-study modules consisting of video presentations and tests, or the Have Sleep Lab Experience, which consists only of the self-study modules.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Herzing University

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  • Fortis College

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    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • The George Washington University

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    • Master

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  • Strayer University

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  • Independence University

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    • Master

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  • Southern Careers Institute

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    • Texas: Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, San Antonio
  • Keiser University

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    • Associate Programs

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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