Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schlafforschung und Schlafmedizin (DGSM)

German Sleep Society


Prof. Dr. Thomas Penzel


Foundation year



Number of members


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

Internal Medicine (including pneumology) 60%, Psychiatry & Neurology (old specialisation) 13%, Paediatrics 10%, Neurologists 6%, Psychiatrists 5%, General medicine 2%, Dentistry 1%, Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 1,5%, Other 1,5%

Present activities, working groups, task forces

Sleep symposia within the conferences of the national societies of pneumology, neurophysiology & imaging, neurology, psychiatry, pediatry, ENT and dental medicine
Workshops with young scientists
Publication of national guidelines
Publication of patient guidelines and patient brochures
Cooperation with patient groups
Negotiation with health authorities on reimbursement issues for sleep medicine.

Task Forces:

Accreditation/quality assurance
Payment of sleep medicine
Medical devices
Certification of Somnologists, physicians, psychologists/scientists, technicians
Patient support groups
FAQs, implementation and support of AASM PSG guidelines

Working Groups:

Alertness Management
Circulation and Sleep
Movement Disorders
Pathophysiology of Breathing
Surgical Methods of Therapy
Training and Education

Historical perspective of the society

1988 Foundation of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft klinischer Schlafzentren by the first 15 sleep laboratories
1989 Development of accreditation procedures.
1992 Foundation of the German Sleep Society (DGSM)
1992 Standardized accreditation of sleep laboratories
1994 Sleep specialists (somnologists) by the DGSM
2003 National acknowledgement of sleep medicine as sub-speciality
2001 First national treatment guideline (S2) for sleep disorders
2009 First evidence based national treatment guideline (S3) for sleep disorders

Important sleep physicians / researchers in the history of the NSS

Researchers in the history:
W. Baust, C. Becker-Carus, M. Berger, P. Clarenbach, J. Fischer, U. J. Jovanovič, W. Kuhlo, R. Lund, K.-H. Meier-Ewert, J.-H. Peter, K.-H. Rühle, E. Rüther, Marianne E. Schläfke, H. Schulz, R. Steinberg, J. Zulley

Important sleep physicians:
S. Andreas, M. Arzt, H. Becker, H. Benes, A. Bosse-Henck, H. Danker-Hopfe, I. Eisensehr, J. Ficker, I. Fietze, P. Geisler, G. Hajak, S. Happe, W. Hochban, B. Högl, M. Hornyak, S. Kotterba, D. Köhler, C. Lauer, G. Mayer, J. Maurer, W. Oertel, M. Orth, E. Paditz, T. Penzel, T. Podszus, T. Pollmächer, W. Randerath, F. Raschke, D. Riemann, A. Rodenbeck, T. Schäfer, B. Schönhofer, S. Scholle, R. Schulz, A. Steiger, K. Stiasny-Kolster, B. Stuck, H. Teschler, C. Trenkwalder, U. Voderholzer, T. Wetter, H.-G. Weeß, A. Wiater, M. Wiegand, J. Winkelmann, P. Young

Number of Sleep Medicine Centers

Number of Sleep Research Centers

There is no differentiation between Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Centers. Some Sleep Medicine Centers hold beds for Sleep Research.

Accreditation / Certification procedure

Peer-reviewed quality assurance by a commission of the DGSM. Biannual evaluation on procedures, outcome, and quality by a standardised manual.

Revisitation of sleep medicine centers: In case of change of director or person in charge of sleep medicine center.

Certification of professionals: Certificate for physicians (by chamber of physicians), non-medical staff (by DGSM) and technicians (by DGSM)

Examination of scientists by the DGSM as requested: 0.5 h theoretical, 0.5 h practical examination by 4 experts from different sleep fields.

Educational programs

Teaching courses (basic): 4 h basic courses in national congress, regular courses provided by the local DGSM groups (general physicians: 4 – 10 h, introduction into sleep medicine: 30 h, hands-on course: 20 h)

Teaching courses (advanced): Curriculum sleep medicine 90 h, 4 – 6 h courses in national congress. 1.5 day theory and practice courses for technicians

Workshops: organised locally

Training facilities and fellowships at specified sleep medicine centers

Training of sleep nurses and technologists at specified sleep medicine centers


Symposia/congresses: Annual national meeting
Scientific awards: poster and scientific awards

November 24, 2020
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