ANSS Beyond Boundaries Project

The Background

The Assembly of National Sleep Societies (ANSS) acts as an autonomous body within ESRS unifying most of the European national sleep societies (NSSs) (van der Werf et al., 2022). The ANSS represents a vast community of around 8000 individual sleep clinicians and sleep researchers throughout Europe. Even though many important countries are represented, still there are some, e.g. from Eastern Europe and other regions, that are not currently members of the ESRS/ANSS. There are serious differences between countries, their health systems, and coverage of sleep disorders. The factors behind this are different and multifactorial. In some countries, there is a lack of registered specialized NSS, while in others the NSS is present but due to lack of interest or communication or overall activity they are not in the European federation of NSSs now. In their interaction with these countries the ANSS Executive Committee (EC) felt a clear need to research this aspect in more detail and try to discuss and meet the expectations of countries in helping them to establish/develop sleep fields or facilitate some specific activities.

In 2019, the ANSS EC spearheaded a project task force to cover this gap (Khachatryan et al., 2022).

Project Objectives

The purposes of the ‘Beyond Boundaries’ project are manifold and depend on the country’s needs and wishes. These include sharing experience gained by developed countries, promoting good sleep habits in the general population, advocating for health authorities and related organizations, and implementing financial support mechanisms for patients with sleep disorders, to name a few.

  1. To identify the needs of countries that are seeking to increase local potential for formal (clinical and scientific) education and training.
  2. To develop educational initiatives and training opportunities by assisting, training and supporting local professionals in interested countries.
  3. To facilitate and support the communication and contacts with local authorities and other interested parties.
  4. To connect the interested countries and local sleep professionals with the existing network of the ESRS.

The project was approved by the ANSS member societies, as well as by the ESRS board, further gaining official support from the ESRS.

First Meeting in Armenia 2019

Armenia was keen to host the pilot event for the Beyond Boundaries project. Within the main project held in Armenia in 2019 it was decided to organize a meeting for different governmental and non-governmental organizations which could help promote and develop sleep medicine in Armenia, accentuate its public health role and stimulate a realistic and useful discussion between the involved sides.

Two events were organized to meet different needs. One was a full-day educational event on various aspects of sleep research and sleep medicine. The importance of this meeting for the local sleep and health care fields was accentuated by publication of a position statement on the situation with sleep in Armenia in the official journal of the Armenian NIH (Khachatryan et al., 2021).

This pilot implementation of the Beyond Boundaries was a very important experience for the ANSS EC for shaping the project further and develop the directions it could cover for the next applicant countries.

Beyond Boundaries project Armenia 2019 meeting gallery grid
Beyond Boundaries project pilot meeting gallery, Armenia 2019.

Beyond Boundaries project pilot meeting gallery, Armenia 2019.

Due to the pandemic the Project was frozen, but recently the ANSS started to work on it and reach out to some countries for further implication of this initiative. At present, there are preliminary agreements with Georgia, Cyprus, and Bulgaria for further contacts and planning. The ANSS EC is working now on the application scheme for this Project’s official launch in 2023. The intention is to communicate with local professionals, through email, skype or teleconference and structured questionnaire and to develop an individualized program/workshops with the local representatives/professionals.

The ANSS welcomes representatives from countries in and around Europe with and without a national sleep society, that are not currently a member of the ANSS/ESRS, to approach should they desire to discuss any of the topics listed below at

Possible Topics

  • Setting up and organizing a training/educational/research program: sleep courses, workshops, etc.
  • Basic knowledge (e.g., on fundamental and clinical topics).
  • Clinical cases, sleep scoring, montage for PG, PSG, CPAP titration (‘Meeting the experts’ clinical workshops).
  • Preparation of a presentation, surveys, clinical trials.
  • Applications for grants/resources.
  • Hot topics in sleep science.
  • Topics relevant for technicians.
  • Interpretation and translation of novel (clinical and research) findings.
  • Setting up sleep medicine facilities/infrastructure (staffing, equipment) in a low resource country or with no reimbursement possibilities.
  • Setting up and participating in international research consortia.
  • How to lobby for reimbursement (lobby to MD, to mass media, to general public).
  • How to organize a national survey on sleep-related unmet needs.
  • Roundtable with local key opinion leaders to identify and cope with local problems and issues pertaining to sleep care and research.
  • Write a position paper for local purposes, can be based on the workshop; translations of lectures will be supplied for that reason.
  • Explain ESRS activities and alert to services such as online material and links.
  • Promote ESRS membership and activities.
  • Invite countries to join ANSS.
  • Assist countries to prepare attendance at future ESRS meetings, apply for fellowships, travel grants, joint symposia.
  • To promote ESRS standards and guidelines and educational programs.


  • van der Werf, Y. D., Korostovtseva, L., Khachatryan, S. G., Deleanu, O. C., Young, P., Gnidovec-Strazisar, B., Engstrøm, M., Arnardottir, E.S., Verbraecken, J., Pevernagie, D. (2022). The history and role of the Assembly of National Sleep Societies (ANSS) within the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS). Journal of Sleep Research, 31(4).
  • Khachatryan, S. G., Isayan, M. A., Hovakimyan, H. A., Deleanu, O., Korostovtseva, L., Verbraecken, J., van der Werf, Y. D., Bazarchyan, A.A., Gnidovec-Stražišar, B. (2021). Current state and future perspectives of sleep medicine and sleep research in Armenia: a joint position statement of Armenian Sleep Disorders Association, Armenian National Institute of Health, and European Assembly of National Sleep Societies. Armenian Journal of Health & Medical Sciences, 28-40.
  • Khachatryan, S. G., Korostovtseva, L., Deleanu, O., Gnidovec-Stražišar, B., Young, P., Engstrøm, M., & van Der Werf, Y. D. (2022). The Assembly of National Sleep Societies (ANSS-ESRS) moves” Beyond Boundaries”: A project announcement. Journal of sleep research, 31(4), e13540.