Make your home page

‘Dreaming’ of a new career? IU Health is training sleep technicians

IU Health sleep technician program

IU Health sleep medicine physician talks to Daybreak about innovative new program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A fascinating field needs new people. Indiana University Health is trying to fill what it describes as a huge shortage.

“We need sleep technicians,” Dr. Joshua Barzilai said on WISH-TV’s “Daybreak” on Friday.

Barzilai specializes in sleep medicine through IU Health. During the conversation, Barzilai dove deeply into dreams, one of the topics that makes the field intriguing.

“Current research believes that dreams aren’t random,” he said. “There are common themes such as being chased or fallen and that our daily events do influence our dreams.”

Barzilai says dreams are a fertile time for creativity.

“We first fall sleep in the first ten minutes or so, and just after we wake up there are creative bursts. That has actually been proven to show a higher problem-solving capacity.”

When the talked turned to nightmares, Barzilai offered a note of hope for heading off horrors through a process called “dream rehearsal.”

“Essentially, you relive the dream. You rewrite it during your wakeful hours. You just rewrite the ending slowly over days to kind of create a different dream at night.”

That brought the conversation back to the need for new people in the field.

“One thing we do all the time is order sleep studies, and for that we need sleep technicians,” he said. “Sleep technicians are those who run the studies overnight and then help process them in the morning.”

Barzilai says IU Health is trying to tackle the shortage of sleep techs by starting the state’s first training program specifically for technicians.

“They will teach you all the steps, give you the foundation and then build upon that over the next one to two years before you get your certification.”

For more information, contact Joe Risner at