Does ‘Father’ Dement know best?

Saturday, July 31, 2004

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Dr. William C. Dement, a heavyweight in the field of sleep medicine, parted the ropes and stepped into the ring May 8 when he wrote to CMS to support Dr. Terry Davidson’s request that CMS open the doors to home-based testing.

If the sleep industry has one bonafide marquee name, it’s Dement. Long known as the ‘father of sleep medicine’ for his pioneering work in the field, the National Sleep Foundation awarded Dement its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

In its release about the award, the NSF cited Dement as a “man who almost single handedly revolutionized understanding of one-third of human existence - sleep - [and] has been a guiding force in sleep research in this country and throughout the world.”

In the 1950s, Dement helped to discover REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. In 1975, he was founding president of the American Sleep Disorders Association (now the American Academy of Sleep Medicine), a position he held for 12 years.