Meet the NOSM: Hosts of ANSS 2024

The Norwegian Society of Sleep Medicine has 7 Board members and about 160 members in total: mainly MDs, but also nurses and researchers etc. The dominating specialty areas are ENT and neurology. As we have no membership fee, the administration is not so laborious, but the member list is not always updated. Except for the ANSS fee we have no fixed expenses and neither any fixed income, however some income is generated by organizing courses in hypersomnia and paediatric sleep about every 2 years. Furthermore, our two national competence centers for sleep have supported us when needed.

Since Norway is a big country with long distances, arranging physical meetings is challenging. Digital meetings became common during the corona-pandemic which has given a possibility to connect easier. It will be an important task for the board in the future to mobilize the whole Sleep-Norway.

The last year’s hot and challenging topic in the Board has been sleep education. The health care system in Norway is mainly public, and we have the world’s largest percent of health care workers. The different health care workers are expected to be skilled in treating disorders in their field and otherwise have a diagnostic overview – also within the field of sleep – to be able to refer the patient to the correct practitioner. There is however no mandatory curriculum in sleep medicine for the various health care professions, including the specialization for doctors. Hence, one important period for developing sleep knowledge in medical staff is during medical school and specialization.

Very few clinicians work only with sleep and there is presently one interdisciplinary sleep disorders center. It is, however, a goal for our society that regional centers for sleep should be established. Establishing such centers can make sleep medicine a career path for health care workers and be a benefit for the special case patients. The staff at such centers should include health care workers with a broad knowledge in sleep medicine – for instance ESRS-certified sleep medicine specialists.

The debate in the Board regarding sleep education is whether to focus on implementing sleep medicine in the curriculum for all health care workers, for doctor’s specialization, or facilitate education of sleep medicine specialists. This is mostly a strategic question, as presently – without sleep medicine centers- it may be little room for doctors and little support from employers to spend time to learn procedures and/or treatments they may never perform. Establishment of regional competence sleep centers will on the other hand both facilitate training in sleep medicine and necessitate broader sleep medicine competence. Political support for establishing such competence center is awaiting the new “Brain Health Strategy” to be launched by the beginning of 2025. Furthermore, in the future increased use of telemedicine and a constant movement of people from rural to urban areas will probably pave the way for more health care workers to work with just sleep also in Norway.

NOSM has organized courses in paediatric sleep in Oslo 2017, Stavanger 2022 and Trondheim 2024. Here are lecturers Berit and Karoline from the Paediatric sleep course this year.

10-12 May 2024, Trondheim hosted the 20th annual ANSS meeting. A lovely group of people from all over Europe visited us and formed the basis for interesting lectures, discussions, and a good time!