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Rafael Pelayo, M.D.

Sleep expert and author of HOW TO SLEEP

One of the foremost sleep medicine doctors in the world, Dr. Rafael Pelayo has rewritten the rules to help people get to sleep—and stay asleep—each and every night. We have all heard the basic sleep rules of no caffeine after 2:00 p.m., only use the bedroom for sleeping, and turn off screens an hour before going to bed. Yet these one-size-fits-all directives clearly don’t work for the millions of people for whom sleep remains elusive.

In HOW TO SLEEP, Dr. Pelayo offers a medically comprehensive and holistic approach to the issues that might be affecting our sleep. He begins by grounding us in the biology of sleep including the extremely reassuring fact that no one actually sleeps through the night—we naturally wake up every ninety minutes. Dr. Pelayo then tackles the major sleep issues one by one, such as snoring and its causes; the difference between and treatments for transient and chronic insomnia; strategies to combat jet lag; and how lifestyle choices affect our sleep, including exercise, meditation, and diet.

Clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in the division of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Pelayo has over 25 years of experience treating patients at the world-renowned Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. He has served on advisory boards and in leadership positions for the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the NIH, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the National Sleep Foundation, and the California Sleep Society. His advocacy work for adolescent sleep health helped to make California the first state in the nation to pass legislation mandating later start times for middle and high schools in effort to combat widespread sleep deprivation among teenagers.

Pelayo has lectured nationally and internationally, and has appeared frequently in national media, including NPR, The Ronn Owens Report, Frontline, the New York Times, the Washington Post,, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times,, and

Speaking Topics

  • Sleep Health and How to Sleep Better
  • Sleep for Children and Adolescents
  • Managing Your Insomnia
  • School Start Times and the Importance of Sleep


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