Dr. Hrayr Attarian

Professor of neurology, Northwestern University, Illinois, US
Work Experience: 20+ years in sleep medicine

“I believe in empowering patients by educating them and partnering with them in their own care. I find it rewarding when I can help patients improve their sleep and therefore improve their quality of life.”

Career Highlights 

  • Professor at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, 2010–present
  • Adjunct Professor at Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Adjunct Professor at Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia
  • Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL, 2009–2010
  • Associate Professor at University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 2003–2009
  • Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 1999–2003
  • Published three textbooks and 75 peer-reviewed medical papers
  • Board certified in sleep medicine and neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


  • Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, 1999
  • Fellowship in Neurophysiology and Epileptology at University of Rochester, NY, 1998
  • Residency in Neurology at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, 1993–1997
  • Degree in Medicine from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, 1992
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology from American University of Beirut, Lebanon, 1988

Featured Publications

  • “Excessive daytime sleepiness could be multifactorial in adults with epilepsy.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, vol. 16, no. 8, 15 Aug 2020, doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8558
  • “Sleep disorders in traumatic brain injury.” NeuroRehabilitation, vol. 43, no. 3, 2018, doi: 10.3233/NRE-182583
  • “Advances in the management of chronic insomnia.” British Medical Journal, vol. 354, no. 2123, 06 Jul 2016, doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2123

My Journey in Medicine

I really love my chosen specialty of sleep medicine because it combines many different disciplines of health care: neurology, internal medicine, and psychiatry. 

Over the past two decades, I have practiced sleep medicine, conducted research, and taught medical students about the field. I enjoy mentoring physicians and other health care workers from local and international schools to help them become the best possible providers for their patients. 

My primary clinical focus is diagnosing and treating sleep disorders, particularly those related to neurological illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and other medical conditions. In my research, I have focused on sleep disorders in refugees and women and the impact on life quality, as well as gender bias among physicians while screening for sleep disorders. I also have extensive experience in global health, specifically when it comes to improving sleep for vulnerable populations in developing countries. 

Having a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is such an important aspect of our overall health and well-being, and I take great joy in being able to help people on a daily basis improve their sleeping patterns. Most of my treatments are not through medication; I take a more holistic approach to care. I aim to equip each person who comes to see me with the information they need so that, together, we can find the course of action that fits them and their lifestyle best.

Working together with Flo on content related to sleep helps me reach even more people with the valuable knowledge they need to sleep well. 

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