November 2013

Published in ESRS Newsletter November 2013


ESRS EU Committee

Members (2012 – 2014):
Roberto Amici (Chair), Diego Garcia Borreguero (Co-Chair), Marta Gonçalves, Damien Leger, Dieter Riemann

The main aims of the Committee are: i) to bring the topics of “sleep” and “sleep disorders” to the attention of  the EU in order to receive support for research and teaching activities; ii) to promote sleep-related issues from a political point of view at a European and National level.

The main achievement of the last four-month period has been the finalisation of the “Wake-up Bus” project, which have been made under the coordination of Marta Goncalves (President of the Portuguese Sleep Society and member of the EU Committee) with the EU Committee, the Assembly of the National Sleep Societies (coordinated by Ludger Grote), the contribution of the ESRS Expert Panel (composed by Torbjorn Akerstedt, Fabio Cirgnotta, Jim Horne, Damien Leger, Walter McNicholas, Markku Partinen, and Joaquin Teran), and under the supervision of the ESRS President, Philippe Peigneux.

The project was aimed at raising awareness among general public and EU officers/ parliamentarians of the importance of sleepiness as a one of the main causes of road accidents. The project had three main goals, which were successfully achieved largely thanks to the contribution of the NSS of nineteen European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey).

The first achievement was the journey of the “Wake-up” bus through eight European countries. The tour started from Oporto on October 4th and ended in Brussels on October 14th after nine further stops in Lisbon, Madrid, Lyon, Milan, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Wien, Poznan, and Berlin. An awareness campaign was very successfully run by the National Sleep Society of each country visited by the bus and in several countries which were not reached by the bus due to time limitation.

The second achievement was the online European Sleep Study on “Sleepiness and Accidents” that was launched in all countries which agreed to be involved in the project. More than 12,000 valid questionnaires were finally collected and the outcome of the survey will be published soon.

The final act of the project was the meeting at the EU Parliament in Brussels that was held on October 15th thanks to the help of the Portuguese EU parliamentarian Paulo Rangel. During this meeting, the EU Parliamentarians were addressed by ESRS officers, ANSS members, and members of the Expert Panel about sleep and sleepiness at the wheel-related issues and about the outcomes of the online Sleep Study. The meeting was enhanced by the attendance of the EU Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, who opened the session (see Commissioner Borg’s opening speech).

Few selected pictures which have been taken during either the Wake-up bus tour or the Brussels meeting are shown. A larger set of information and material related to the project, and pictures and movies taken during the different stops of the bus around Europe are available at the ESRS website (Photo Gallery / Video Gallery).

Roberto Amici

Photo Selection: Wake-Up Bus on its Way to the EU Parliament

Click on the links below to view the entire photo galleries.

Porto, Portugal, 3-Oct-2013

The Wake-Up Bus starts in Porto, Portugal.

Paulo Rangel (MEP), Marta Gonçalves (Project Coordinator) 

The bus arrives at Praça do Comércio, Lisbon.

Marta Gonçalves presents the project during the Symposium on Sleepiness and Accidents at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lisbon, Portugal

The bus  tours the city of Madrid.

Diego García-Borreguero, President of the Spanish Sleep Society, welcomes the Wake-Up Bus at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid Football Club

Pierre-Hervé Luppi, ESRS Secretary, Marta Gonçalves

Information campaign on sleepiness and driving

Liborio Parrino, AIMS President, Marta Gonçalves, Roberto Amici, Chair of the ESRS EU Committee

Press Conference: Marta Gonçalves (3), Liborio Parrino, AIMS President (5), Gian Luigi Gigli, AIMS Past President (6)

The Wake-Up Bus arrives at Ljubljana.

Press interview with Leja Dolenc Grošelj, President of the Slovenian Sleep Society

Meeting with local authorities and experts, Zagreb

Local Wake-Up Bus, Split 

Wake-Up Bus at the Burgtheater, Vienna

Wolfgang Mallin, President of the Austrian Sleep Society, distributes information on sleepiness on the wheel to drivers.

ESRS Wake-Up Bus arriving at Poznan, Poland

Wojciech Jernajczyk, Past President of the Polish Sleep Society (left), Marta Gonçalves, Project Coordinator (2nd from right), Szczepan Cofta, PSS President (right)

Wake-Up Bus at the Brandenburger Tor

Marta Gonçalves  and Thomas Penzel, Chair of the ESRS Sleep Medicine Committee

Brussels, Belgium, 15-Oct-2013
Meeting and Presentation at EU Parliament

Wake-Up Bus Project Group meets Expert Panel and Presidents of National Sleep Societies in Brussels

The Wake-Up Bus Project Group at the EU Parliament: Philippe Peigneux, ESRS President, Roberto Amici, Chair of the ESRS EU Committee; Marta Gonçalves, Project Coordinator; Ludger Grote, ANSS Chair

Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health (2); Paulo Rangel, Member of the European Parliament (3); Philippe Peigneux, ESRS President (4); Roberto Amici, Chair of the ESRS EU Committee (5)


Presentation on the Wake-Up Bus Project

Toast to the successful campaign: Philippe Peigneux, ESRS President; Damien Leger, Expert Panel Member; Marta Gonçalves, Project Coordinator; Roberto Amici, Chair of the ESRS EU Committee; Ludger Grote, ANSS Chair; Jim Horne, Expert Panel Member

… behind the scenes, but in the middle of the action …

Best Practice Example:
The Wake-Up bus drivers were assessed by polysomnography (PSG) before the journey, a preventive measure that should be applied to all professional drivers.
[The PSG was made pro-bono at the Hospital Cuf Porto.]

Polysomnography test: Project Coordinator Marta Gonçalves and the Wake-Up bus drivers

Well-rested drivers riding the Wake-Up Bus safely through Europe (Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid)

EU Parliament Animation:
PhD student and post-doctoral research fellows spent two days in the atrium of the EU parliament administering tests for the wake-up bus operation.

Juliane Farthouat and Rachel Leproult (UR2NF, ULB)

Juliane Farthouat, Medhi Gilson (UR2NF, ULB) and Sonia Scaillet (BASS)

Medhi Gilson (UR2NF, ULB) and an EU officer testing his sleepiness

Sonia Scaillet (BASS), Medhi Gilson, Rachel Lepoult and Juliane Farthouat, (UR2NF, ULB)