Eesti Unemeditsiini Selts

Estonian Sleep Medicine Association


Dr. Heisl Vaher


Presentation held during the ANSS meeting in: Brussels, Belgium, 28. – 30.04.2016 (PDF)

Foundation year


Number of members


Composition of members (degree, specialties, subspecialties, etc.)

13% Oto-rhino-laryngologists, 13% Cardiologists, 10% Pulmonologists, 10% PhDs, 8% Dentists, 8% Psychiatrists, 8% Neurologists, 30% Miscellaneous (Psychologists, Nurses, Technicians, etc.)

Historical perspective of the society

In 1996, the first sleep disorders centre was founded in Psychiatry Clinic of Tartu University Hospital. Dr. Tuuliki Hion was the first MD to work for this centre followed by Dr. Marlit Veldi (1997 – 2003). The full spectrum of sleep disorders was diagnosed and treated. In 1997, the first polysomnography was performed.
The first treatment with CPAP in Estonia was applied in the Lung Clinic, Tartu University Hospital, on October 1997 by Dr. Erve Sõõru. Her main interest is diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.
Professional society: The Estonian Sleep Medicine Association was founded on April 16, 2005, with Dr. Mae Pindmaa as the first president.

Important sleep physicians / researchers in the history of the NSS

Clinical research: Tuuliki Hion, Rain Jõgi, Ott Kiens, Katrin Põld, Erve Sõõru, Heisl Vaher, Marlit Veldi, Moonika Viigimäe

Number of Sleep Medicine Centers

4, for a complete list see here

Number of Sleep Research Centers

Sleep Disorders Centre, Psychiatry Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, chair Dr. Tuuliki Hion;
Sleep Medicine Centre, Ear Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, chair Dr. Marlit Veldi;
Lung Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, chair Dr. Rain Jõgi
Department of Pulmonology, North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, Tallinn, chair Dr. Pille Mukk;

Accreditation / Certification procedure

The society provides, as part of the Nordic Association of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies (NOSMAC), a certifi cate in Sleep Medicine in accordance with the ESRS certifi cation guidelines. The candidates must also pass four training courses (sleep physiology, breathing disorders during sleep, insomnia, para- and hypersomnias) provided by the society. This education is mainly adjusted to physicians but there is a similar, but less extensive program for other groups. 27 “grandfathers/-mothers” have been certifi ed and trained. The accreditation process for sleep centers within the NOSMAC organization is outlined and this process will start in the very near future.

Educational programs

We do not have special studies in universities for a certificate in sleep medicine. We started to regulate sleep medicine studies and accreditation in our country.

Present activities, working groups, task forces

We collaborate with other societies for scientific meetings and workshops, keynote lectures, oral presentations 2 – 4 times per year. We have workgroups with our Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Insurance. We are the local organizers of the 22th Congress of European Sleep Research Society which takes place in Tallinn in 2014.


PhD-s in sleep medicine:

Marlit Veldi, 2001 “Obstructive sleep apnea: computerized endopharyngeal myotonometry of the soft palate and lingual musculature“, Psychiatry Clinic of Tartu University Hospital.

Erve Sõõru, 2019 ” Mismatch of Sleep and Work Arrangements among Research and Development Employees and Personalisation of Sleep Studies”, Tallinn University of Technology

First patient`s organization: Estonian Association of Sleep Apnoea Patients, founded 2007.

June 30, 2020
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