The ESRS Forum for Women in Sleep Research was founded by Irene Tobler, Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen and Myriam Kerkhofs. The idea for the Forum evolved from the women’s discussion group Women in Sleep and Rhythm Research (WiSRR) which met each year at the Association of Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) congress.  Many colleagues had not attended the sleep meeting in the USA, therefore a women’s discussion group was initiated at meetings of the ESRS. 

During the ESRS Business Meeting in Istanbul in 2000, president of the ESRS Michel Billiard proposed that the Forum become a working group within the framework of the ESRS.  This marked the official acceptance of the Forum by the business meeting.  Since this time, meetings of the Forum have been included in the official program of each ESRS Congress. 

At first announcement, the Forum was given the title of Forum for European Women in Sleep Research.  Today the Forum is known as the ESRS Forum for Women in Sleep Research to open participation to all women researchers operating within Europe and beyond.