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Nalaka S. Gooneratne, MD, DABSM

Nalaka S. Gooneratne, MD, DABSM Physician

Associate Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center

Languages spoken:

  • French

Dr. Gooneratne is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

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Clinical Specialties


  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Sleep Medicine (ABSM), 2009

Clinical Expertise:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Insomnia
  • Lung Disease
  • Lung Infections
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders in the Elderly
  • Sleep Study

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Gooneratne's clinical focus is in the area of sleep disorders in older adults. He has been invited to lecture on this topic at national conferences, such as those hosted by the American Association of Sleep Medicine, the American Thoracic Society as well as the National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science conference on Chronic Insomnia. Dr. Gooneratne runs a Sleep Disorders Clinic for Seniors which is tailored to the unique needs of older adults as they seek to address their sleep disturbances.

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • CVS Health
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthPartners Medicare
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Health Care/LGH
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Remedy Partners at Penn Medicine
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


American College of Physicians, National American Sleep Disorders Association, National American Thoracic Society, National Associated Professional Sleep Societies Annual Meeting, National Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology (CASE) Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National Center for Healthy Aging at Parker Stonegate/ University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Family Medicine Geriatric Program, Local Sleep Research Network, National Sleep Research Society, National Small Business: Education, Psychology, and Biology in Health Behavior Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Gooneratne is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Description of Research Expertise:

Research Interests:

Aging, sleep, complementary/alternative medicine, melatonin, patient-oriented research, translational research, categorical data, clinical trials, multivariate analysis, time series.

Description of Research:

Dr. Gooneratne’s research interests are centered around studying the nature of sleep disorders in the elderly. While many older adults complain of difficulties with sleep, it is an area about which modern medicine has only a limited understanding. Funded initially by a National Institute on Aging Mentored Research Career Development Award (K23) and a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Award (R01), he is pursuing research examining the role of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, in sleep in the elderly. Dr. Gooneratne also has a strong interest in the attitudes of senior citizens towards their sleep problems and how their background/ethnicity informs their decisions. This project has been funded by a Hartford foundation/Penn Center for Excellence pilot grant. Dr.Gooneratne also runs a Sleep Disorders Clinic for Seniors in an effort to address the medical needs of older patients with sleep disorders. In addition, Dr. Gooneratne is the Associate Program Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania's Clinical and Translational Science Award, which assists in the conduct of over 190 clinical research studies. He also helps to coordinate the research activities of the Geriatric fellows in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and mentors research fellows in the Division of Sleep Medicine.

Selected Publications:

Sharma A., Barrett M.S., Cucchiara A.J., Gooneratne N.S., Thase M.E.: A Breathing-Based Meditation Intervention for Patients With Major Depressive Disorder Following Inadequate Response to Antidepressants: A Randomized Pilot Study J Clin Psychiatry : 2016.

Gooneratne, N.S.: What is Academic Entrepreneurship? Academic Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences: : 2016.

Onen F., Lalanne C., Pak V.M., Gooneratne N.S., Falissard B., Onen S.H.: A Three-Item Instrument for Measuring Daytime Sleepiness: The Observation and Interview Based Diurnal Sleepiness Inventory (ODSI) J Clin Sleep Med 12 (4): 505-12,2016.

Gooneratne, N.S.: Sleep Problems Specific to Geriatric Patients Sleep Medicine in Primary Care (electronic textbook) : 2016.

Gehrman P.R., Hall M., Barilla H., Buysse D., Perlis M., Gooneratne N., Ross R.J.: Stress Reactivity in Insomnia Behav Sleep Med 14 (1): 23-33,2016.

Gooneratne, N. S. and M. V. Vitiello: Sleep in older adults: normative changes, sleep disorders, and treatment options Clin Geriatr Med 30 (3): 591-627,2014.

Grandner M.A., Gallagher R.A., Gooneratne N.S.: The use of technology at night: impact on sleep and health J Clin Sleep Med 9 (12): 1301-2,2013.

Grandner, M.A., Patel, N.P., Jean-Louis, G., Jackson, N.J., Gehrman, P.R., Perlis, M.L., and Gooneratne, N.S.: Sleep-related behaviors and beliefs associated with race/ethnicity in women Journal of the National Medical Association 105 (1): 4-15,2013.

Grandner M.A., Patel N.P., Jean-Louis G., Jackson N., Gehrman P.R., Perlis M.L., Gooneratne N.S.: Sleep-related behaviors and beliefs associated with race/ethnicity in women J Natl Med Assoc 105 (1): 4-15,2013.

Grandner, M.A., Jackson, N., Gooneratne, N.S., Patel, N.P. : The Development of a Questionnaire to Assess Sleep-Related Practices, Beliefs, and Attitudes Behavioral Sleep Medicine 11 : 1-20,2013.

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Academic Contact Info

Ralston Penn Center, Room 220
3615 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 267 408 3789
Fax: 215 573-8684
Patient appointments: 800-789-7366 (PENN)

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