As the world's most populous country, China has a high prevalence of sleep disorders, posing a huge public health burden. After 30 years of development, more and more professionals, patients, and public health policymakers are recognizing the importance of sleep. Although sleep problem is recognized in the Traditional Chinese Medicine area, modern sleep medicine starts from the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. By 2017, about 2,000 sleep centers had been established nationwide which can diagnose and treat OSA, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, REM sleep disorder, and other sleep diseases. Research in different sleep fields has emerged in the recent 20 years. However, there are gaps between the sleep service capacity and the demand from patients due to the lack of sleep professionals as well as the medical insurance coverage. Education and training of both physicians and technicians still have a long way to go. Understanding the development and challenges will help us maintain the development of sleep medicine in China.