Dr. Rafael Pelayo

Rafael Pelayo, MD, has joined SleepQuest as our Chief Scientific Advisor.  He is a clinical professor in the division of Sleep Medicine at Stanford University.  Dr Pelayo is a leader in the sleep field and succeeds Dr William Dement in our company.  Dr Dement appointed him to be his successor to teach undergraduates the famous Dement’s Sleep and Dreams course at Stanford University. Together they co-authored the course’s textbook, Dement’s Sleep and Dreams.

He has worked together and been a good friend to our founder, Robert Koenigsberg for years.  Together they carry Dr Dement’s passion for advancing sleep medicine. For SleepQuest, he will be an advisor for the clinical aspects of the company and help us as we enter the burgeoning employer market. He will advise the medical directors of corporations on the importance of the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

To acquaint you with Dr Pelayo’s background and expertise:

Dr Pelayo was born in New York City and lived in Puerto Rico for many years. He received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico and received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1988. As a medical student, Dr Pelayo was awarded a prize for his thesis on adolescent sleep disorders. His interest in adolescent sleep health has persisted as demonstrated by his recent leadership in helping California be the first state in the nation to pass this law to help teenagers sleep more. Dr Pelayo trained in paediatrics and child neurology in New York City and was mentored in sleep medicine by Dr Michael Thorpy at Montefiore Medical Center.

In 1993 Dr Pelayo joined the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, which has served as a worldwide model on clinical sleep medicine. He has remained a part of their core faculty ever since as he has risen through the academic ranks. He is a national leader in the sleep field with numerous publications. Currently, he serves on the board of the National Sleep Foundation. He is the chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's Political Action Committee. He is the incoming president of the California Sleep Society.

He has lectured nationally and internationally and is frequently interviewed by the media. His book How to Sleep will be released at the end of this year -


The treatment of sleep disorders in children and adults has been Dr Pelayo's primary clinical interest. The importance of providing greater access to quality care is the prime motivator for him joining SleepQuest as an advisor. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration.

Dr Pelayo is very active, serving as chair of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board of the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Heart Lung Blood Institute at the NIH. He has also chaired the pediatric special interest section of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 

He currently teaches the Stanford Sleep and Dreams undergraduate course, Sleep and Dreams, a very popular undergraduate course. He and the late Dr Dement once taught the course together. They co-authored the course textbook which was published in 2013.

We welcome Dr Pelayo to the SleepQuest team. As is evident in his training and experience, Dr Pelayo is dedicated to helping people get the restorative sleep they need to stay healthy.