William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D., is the world's leading authority on sleep, sleep disorders, and the dangers of sleep deprivation. He is the director and founder of the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center, the world's first sleep disorders center.
Born and raised in the state of Washington, Dr. Dement remained in his home state for his undergraduate years at the University of Washington. He then pursued his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, receiving his M.D. in 1955 and Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1957. For more than half a century, Dr. Dement has conducted basic sleep research, investigated sleep disorders and treatments, and has launched a myriad of public education programs. From 1953 to 1957, he conducted numerous studies leading to the characterization of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the basic REM/NREM sleep cycle, and all-night sleep patterns.
In 1975, Dr. Dement founded the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, serving as its President for twelve years. Dr. Dement was also a founder of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. From 1990-1993, he served as Chairman of the U.S. Congress' National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. He recently received the largest National Institute of Health research grant ever awarded for sleep as to establish the effectiveness and benefits of treatment for large populations of patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
As the author or co-author of over 500 publications, Dr. Dement's research, findings, and advice can be found amongst several texts including the first undergraduate sleep textbook, "The Stanford Sleep Book," "The Sleepwatchers," and most recently "The Promise of Sleep." He is also co-editor of the definitive textbook, "Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine."
Dr. Dement's strong desire to educate students about sleep and the dangers of sleep deprivation led to the creation of his very popular course, "Sleep & Dreams," at Stanford University, which he has taught for over 40 years. Wishing to continue his efforts to educate students, Dr. Dement developed and modified his Stanford Sleep and Dreams textbook, "The Stanford Sleep Book," into the version found on this site.