November 2013

Published in ESRS Newsletter November 2013


Dear ESRS and ANSS members, Colleagues and Friends,

First of all, welcome to the new members who joined ESRS and have been officially accepted since our last newsletter. Being an ESRS member makes you an actor in the biggest European sleep community, with substantial advantages including free access to the Journal of Sleep Research, preferential registration fees in meetings organised or co-organised by the ESRS, and travel grants for young researchers. It also offers unique opportunities to interact with your colleagues in a dynamic and multidisciplinary environment aimed at promoting all domains of sleep research and sleep medicine. For all members, do not forget that you can and should publicise your sleep laboratory and actions by entering our database of sleep research laboratories. It is not only important to you personally but also to the sleep community at large, as it demonstrates the strength and extent of the field to our partners and sponsors.

Under my presidency, the ESRS board made a 2013 priority to raise awareness about sleep topics and promote support for sleep research and teaching opportunities at the European Union (EU) level, especially in view of the EU strategic research decisions for the Horizon 2020 program, now officially issued. As previously reported, the ESRS EU Committee headed by Roberto Amici organised a symposium "Networking to Understand Sleep Functions and Dysfunctions -The European Basic and Clinical Sleep Research Towards Horizon 2020" in Brussels in the framework of the "European Month of the Brain". Board members Pierre-Hervé Luppi and Lino Nobili also represented ESRS at the "Healthy Brain: Healthy Europe Conference 2013" held May 27-28 in Dublin and liaised with other actors in the field, whereas I myself participated in the "European Brain Research: Successes and Next Challenges" meeting May 14th in Brussels. These actions were timely and successful, but also made us realise the need to join forces with other key actors at the European level to better promote the sleep domain in research and translational areas, and especially in the neuroscience domains. This is why I am very pleased to announce that ESRS has now joined as a full member the Governing Council of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS). FENS (see report) federates 32 national neuroscience and 8 European research societies and very effectively represents and promotes brain- and neuroscience-related areas at the EU level. It also owns a seat in the European Brain Council (EBC), an instrumental tool in the shaping of EU research policies and projects. Furthermore, joining FENS provides many novel opportunities for sleep researchers in domains such as teaching (e.g. summer schools), promoting (e.g. advocacy actions) and liaising across disciplines, and last but not least makes from now on all direct ESRS members also full members of the FENS with all related advantages. The ESRS also organises on July 4th a one-day satellite symposium entitled "Understanding Sleep: novel perspectives in Neurosciences" at the 9th FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Milano. And in a spirit of cooperation with other initiatives, it is worth mentioning that the ESRS also exceptionally offers four Trainee Travel Grants for young scientists to participate in the upcoming first Gordon Research Conference "Sleep Regulation & Function".

In the meantime, we have conducted what is the biggest operation to date gathering ESRS and ANSS forces at the European level, i.e. the Wake-up Bus action. Coordinated by Marta Gonçalves (President of APS and ANSS-EC member), the ANSS Chair Ludger Grote, the ESRS EU Committee Coordinator Roberto Amici and myself, these actions are explained in both the ANSS and ESRS EU Committee reports. In a nutshell, the Wake-Up Bus travelled across European countries from Portugal to Belgium, with awareness actions organised in each participating country, and our multilingual on-line survey about sleepiness at the wheel generated 12,000 responses across 19 European countries. At the arrival of the Wake-Up Bus in Brussels on October 15th, the results of the survey were presented at the EU Parliament in a meeting organised with the help of Parliamentarian Paulo Rangel. This was done with representatives of the ESRS Expert Panel in the presence of Health Commissioner Tonio Borg who introduced the session, and of many Presidents of the National Sleep Societies. Beside these achievements, I am very pleased here to acknowledge the very strong and positive spirit of collaboration between all actors during this project, showing the genuine interest to develop cooperative actions between the ESRS and the Assembly of the National Sleep Societies. I sincerely thank here Marta Gonçalves, Roberto Amici and Ludger Grote for their dedication in this project. 

Our next key action is of course the 22nd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society to be held in Tallinn, September 16-20. The Local Organising Committee, the ESRS Scientific Committee, the Board and our PCO Congrex Switzerland have met in Tallinn at the end of October to finalise the program. I can already tell you that we have now an excellent selection of symposia, teaching sessions and keynote lectures, which will make Tallinn a hit in the history of ESRS meetings! The preliminary program will be very soon now published on the congress website, as well as the call for oral and poster communications, and we are looking forward to receive your best proposals. 

Following the Paris meeting, Tallinn importantly features the 3rd ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine aimed at certifying professionals, and the 1st ESRS Technologist Examination in Sleep Medicine exclusively directed at ”grandfathers” and ”grandmothers” with wide experience in sleep technology, medicine and research. Both examinations will be conducted under the careful supervision of the Sleep Medicine Committee coordinated by Thomas Penzel, and applications forms are now available online. The content of the examination is based on the ESRS Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills for Sleep Medicine, now published in Early View in the Journal of Sleep Research. This important publication aimed at developing homogenous standards at the European level has been made possible thanks to the contributions of distinguished ESRS experts coordinated by Thomas Penzel and Dirk Pevernagie within the Sleep Medicine Committee, and of the rigorous and constructive support of anonymous JSR reviewers. I take the opportunity here to thank them as well as the entire JSR reviewers' community for their invaluable time and efforts helping our Editor Derk-Jan Dijk to make JSR the high-quality journal in the sleep domain.
Finally, I attract your attention to the ESRS website, which is now more dynamic than ever. If you not visited it recently, then go to and judge by yourself!

I wish you all the best and a pleasant reading of this 2013 newsletter. Sleep well and keep safe, and do not hesitate to contact us with your remarks and suggestions.


Philippe Peigneux
ESRS President