May 17, 2024

Meet US-based Nigerian doctor, Funke Afolabi-Brown, first black woman to own sleep clinic

Meet US-based Nigerian doctor, Funke Afolabi-Brown, first black woman to own sleep clinic

US-based Nigerian Dr Funke Afolabi-Brown

By Biodun Busari

In her contributions to address the world’s health challenges faced by women and children, a Nigerian physician, Dr Funke Afolabi-Brown, established The Restful Sleep Place, a sleep clinic, becoming the first black woman with the initiative.

Dr Afolabi-Brown, the founder and chief executive officer of The Restful Sleep Place, said the company “helps professional women and their children optimise their health and performance through sleep.”

The Nigerian doctor is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and currently serves patients in-person or virtually in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California with plans to extend her services nationwide in the coming year.

Shared on LinkedIn, she said her company offers “holistic sleep care for children from infancy to 18 years old through her innovative virtual practice and integrative approach”. 

Her innovation is driven by the fact that 60% of children in the US suffer from sleep deprivation, which is often connected to behavioural problems, learning delays and frequent illness. 

As a board-certified pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician with over two decades of experience, Afolabi-Brown, driven with the challenge and set herself on a mission to fix this issue, one family at a time.

“Sleep deprivation doesn’t just affect the individual; it impacts the entire family unit,” Afolabi-Brown said. “When a child is sleep deprived, their physical, mental and emotional health suffers. Parents are often physically and mentally exhausted themselves.” 

“That is why our approach is family-centered. We address the root cause by looking at medical, psychosocial and behavioral components, from which we create customisable sleep treatments honoring the family’s values.”

Driven by a mission to promote optimal sleep health after experiencing her own sleep struggles and the negative side effects, the Afolabi-Brown founded RestfulSleepMD, a platform offering personalised sleep coaching and consultation for families. 

Through her clinic, The Restful Sleep Place, she offers personalised, patient-centered, integrative care to families compared to the rushed 20-30 minute appointments offered at traditional hospitals.

Following her innovative approach, Dr Funke Afolabi-Brown, has become a sought-after speaker and sleep expert on various platforms including The Wall Street Journal, Abc News and Baby Center, the world’s largest digital parenting resource.

Dr Afolabi-Brown completed her Pediatric Pulmonology fellowship at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, followed by a Sleep Medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

She has expertise in a range of pediatric sleep disorders including chronic insomnia, behavioral sleep issues, sleep disordered breathing, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy and sleep issues in children with underlying conditions such as mental health disorders, autism, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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