Second Call May 2009

Dear colleagues,

Approximately two weeks have passed since I have issued my first call for the European Insomnia Network.

In the meantime I have been able to collect more than 70 answers from the membership of the European Sleep Research Society who are interested in participating in the Insomnia Network. I think that is a tremendous response which demonstrates that insomnia is an important research and clinical topic also within the framework of the ESRS. Responses came practically from all European countries spanning Russia in the East to Portugal in the West. We have basic researchers who are interested, clinicians from the fields of psychiatry, neurology, internal medicine and other disciplines of medicine and, as expected, a large number of psychologists who work in the field. This, to my opinion, reflects the present situation in the insomnia field in Europe.

What will be our next steps?

  1. First of all, I am thinking about establishing a steering committee encompassing 5 colleagues who have answered my call. I thought about a composition of a steering committee with 2 psychologists, a neurologist, a psychiatrist and a basic researcher. Let me know what you think of that.
  2. Own work in the insomnia field with each other. Please find attached 2 papers from my group which are just in the status of “in press” in Sleep Medicine Reviews (see ESRS homepage, members´ section).
  3. I think it a very important issue to improve the teaching situation for young researchers and clinicians from the ESRS concerning insomnia. I thought about following the example of the Bertinoro Training Meetings which are sponsored by the EU and gave 40 young scientists the chance to learn from experienced researchers and clinicians in the field. I would like to repeat this experience with a 3 day session focussing on insomnia. In that case I will in a first step contact several pharmaceutical companies who operate Europe-wide and ask them if they are interested to provide educational grants to promote such an enterprise. The idea would be to have 3 days of training for 30-40 young researchers and clinicians in the insomnia field under the age of 35 yrs. and maybe a faculty of 10 teachers. The focus would be solely on insomnia and would cover all aspects of insomnia from basic research to epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnostics and different clinical issues like pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.
  4. Please find attached some information on Eurocores (see ESRS homepage, members´section) which is an activity supported by the European Science Foundation. Eurocores every year collects suggestions for topics which should be funded by the EU. One of our main activities could be to write an application for insomnia in order to introduce insomnia as a research topic in Europe. Eurocores also would fund small meetings in order to prepare such an activity. This is something of utmost importance and about which I also would like to hear your opinion. Furthermore, if you are interested in working in a core group trying to establish insomnia as a research topic in Europe on that level, please let me know.
  5. I am preparing a questionnaire which I will send to you at the end of June after returning from the APSS meeting in Seattle in order to ask you some questions about the insomnia situation (health care, clinical practice, research) in your country in order to get an overview about what’s going on in Europe. I would be grateful if you have the time to answer all the questions I am going to prepare for you.
  6. Anyway, we will have an European Insomnia Network Meeting at the next ESRS congress in Lisbon in 2010. Nevertheless, I would really love to get the European Insomnia Network moving already in the meantime in order to further support and develop the topic of insomnia in basic research, clinical medicine and psychology in Europe.

Dieter Riemann, Freiburg

P.S. If you are interested in joining, please mail me: dieter.riemann@uniklinik-freiburg.de

[Published in ESRS Newsletter June 2009]