Thomas Roth, PhD - Sleep Medicine & Disorders Author

Thomas Roth, PhD

“The amount of knowledge just tremendously expands from edition to edition.” – Thomas Roth, PhD

Dr. Roth’s Path to Sleep Medicine

When I was a student there was a job opening in a dream laboratory in the department of psychiatry. I figured I could do anything for a summer, so I worked in the laboratory and became enthralled with learning about sleep. It occurred to me that we just did not know much about a third of our lives—the time we spend sleeping.  Right around that time, Crick and Watson won the Nobel Prize.  We were entering the molecular age in terms of understanding waking organisms, but even the most rudimentary description of sleep in science didn’t exist yet.  The average person spends 25 years of their life sleeping and we knew nothing about that. That summer job totally changed the way I worked and sleep became my interest for life.

What’s New in this Edition of Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine?

Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine is an amazing series of additions mostly because it started right about when the field of sleep medicine exploded.  The amount of knowledge just tremendously expands from edition to edition.  In this edition, we completely rewrote the entire section on the basic control of sleep in terms of the neurosciences. The section on circadian sleep disorders is also greatly expanded. Most exciting about this edition is that it is not only a book. There’s a wealth of online information, videos, slides, pictures, and cases, making it a multimedia experience.  It also includes information for developing lectures, so it’s not only a tool for educating people about sleep medicine, but it’s a tool that educators can use to educate other people, too.

About Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine

One of the things that people define a field by is a basic set of knowledge in a standard textbook.  So when Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine came out, people saw it as the standard textbook in the field.  What makes Principles and Practice the standard textbook is its breadth.  Half of the book covers basic physiology, the other half covers pathophysiology. So, it covers sleep and breathing, control of sleep, control of neurological disorders. It’s an incredible combination of breadth and depth, so there’s nothing in sleep medicine which is not in the book. Now, with a digital component on the internet, we don’t wait until the next edition to update it.


Thomas Roth, PhD is founder of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at the Henry Ford Hospital, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Of Michigan College Of Medicine in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Roth is a leading expert in the field of sleep medicine, and has served as President of the Sleep Research Society, Founding President of the National Sleep Foundation, Chairman of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board of the National Institute of Health, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, where he also served as the first chair of the Association’s Scientific Program Committee. He served on the governing board of the World Federation of Sleep Research Societies and served as its program chair. Dr. Roth was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Sleep Disorders Center and served as the organization’s second president. In addition, he is the former chairman of the World Health Organization’s worldwide project on sleep and health.

Dr. Roth is a prolific researcher in the areas of sleep loss, sleep fragmentation, and deviation from sleep processes including pharmacological effects and sleep pathologies, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Roth has received the National Sleep Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a Distinguished Research Award from the Sleep Research Society, and the Nathanial Kleitman Award from the Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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