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Postgraduate Education Corner: CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS IN SLEEP MEDICINE |

There and Back Again: A Current History of Sleep Medicine

Douglas Benjamin Kirsch, MD; American Association for the Advancement of Science
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brighton, MA.

Correspondence to: Douglas Benjamin Kirsch, MD, Sleep HealthCenters, 1505 Commonwealth Ave, 5th Floor, Brighton, MA 02135; e-mail: Doug_Kirsch@sleephealth.com


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(4):939-946. doi:10.1378/chest.10-1235
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Sleep science has been a vigorously evolving field over the past 60 years, and the practice of sleep medicine has become increasingly complex with a growing number of tests and treatments. This article briefly traces the history of the field of sleep science over the past three millennia. The foundations of sleep medicine can be traced back to ancient civilizations around the globe. Many philosophers, scientists, and researchers have espoused theories about the causes of sleep throughout the centuries, theories that have become more intricate as our understanding of medicine and neurobiology has continued to advance.


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