Sleep medicine – a young research field
Pioneers of sleep medicine from Dr. med. Riccardo A. Stoohs
In my opinion I would first name Hans Berger, since he was the one to discover the scientific method that measures the brainwaves of a human.
Nathaniel Kleitman discovered REM-(dream) sleep with Aserinski (1953) and W.C. Dement.
William C. Dement was the first clinical sleep medicine doctor at a university (Stanford University) with a professorship for sleep medicine.
Christian Guilleminault is the first describer of obstructive sleep apnea syndrom, who came to Stanford in the late 60s to explore sleep apnea together with W.C. Dement. His boss in Paris believed that this sleep disorder did not exist.