Sleep Science Friday: 2021 Sleep and Breathing Virtual Is Underway


16 April 2021

What an inspiring start to the first ever Virtual Sleep & Breathing Conference today! 

Earlier, we heard from Co-Chairs, Maria Bonsignore, Researcher and Professor of sleep and breathing disorders, including obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) at the University of Palermo, Italy, and Walter McNicholas, Consultant in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital Group, Dublin, Ireland, Newman Clinical Research Professor at UCD and a Principal Clinical Investigator at the UCD Conway Institute and Former President of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS). 

During this session, we got an update on disordered breathing research, sleep research outside the respiratory domain and the key developments in basic sleep research since 2019. What a far way we have come since then! 

Over the course of today and tomorrow, several of our very own ESRS members will be chairing (or have already chaired) the discussions on different symposia, discussions, hot topics and debates.


These are just a few of the highlights – this isn’t an exhaustive list – here is the full programme.

Prof. Dr. Johan Verbraecken (AntwerpBelgium)

  • Meet the Expert: How to assess progress in sleepiness at the wheel: a European consensus 
  • Skills Lab: Difficult to score PSG 

Prof. Tiina Paunio (Helsinki, Finland)

  • Oral presentation: COVID-19 and sleep 

Dr. Erna Sif Arnardottir (Reykjavik, Iceland)

  • Symposium: Circadian disruption in sleep and health 

Prof. Philippe Peigneux (BrusselsBelgium)

  • Symposium: Obstructive sleep apnoeacognitive functionsfatigue and sleepiness 

Dr. Lizzie Hill (Oxford, UK)

  • Skills Lab: Out of centre sleep testingchallenges and advances 

Dr. Ludger Grote (GothenburgSweden)

  • Symposium: Basic mechanisms of sleep apnoea and translation to clinical practice 

Prof. Colin Espie (Oxford [Oxfordshire], United Kingdom)

  • Symposium: Insomnia as a risk for somatic and mental health and health risks, comorbidities and mortality

Prof. Dr. Dirk Pevernagie (HeezeNetherlands)

  • Hot TopicNew approaches to obstructive sleep apnoea diagnostic criteria and severity gradingoriented to technological development 

Dr. Pierre-Hervé Luppi (Bron cedex, France)

  • Symposium: Narcolepsynew perspectives on pathophysiological mechanisms and treatments 

Dr. Lino Nobili (Genoa, Italy)

  • Symposium: Central apnoea in childrenfrom pathophysiology to treatment approach 


This is an immense showing of ESRS members, with them leading two days of showcasing the tremendous progress in the Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research fields, especially as it relates to an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to the investigation and treatment of sleep disorders. 

Even though these sessions are running in parallel, you don’t have to choose. The sessions will be available on demand until Septmber 2021, so you’ll be able to catch up on any session that you missed or that you want to listen to again. 

Also, what you might not have known, is that registration is still open until tomorrow, 17-April. So it isn’t too late to join us.  

And finally, you can join the #whereISleepandBreathe movement on Twitter – show us how you are participating in this year’s conference with a selfie and #whereISleepandBreathe so we can retweet your post! We’ll see you there!


Recent publications from ESRS members: 

  1. Cesari et al. (2021). Flexor digitorum superficialis muscular activity is more reliable than mentalis muscular activity for rapid eye movement sleep without atonia quantification. Sleep 
  2. Staats et al. (2021). Impact of temperature on obstructive sleep apnoea in three different climate zones of Europe: Data from the European Sleep Apnoea Database (ESADA). J Sleep Res 
  3. Huang et al. (2021)The relationship between fasting-induced torpor, sleep and waking in laboratory mice. Sleep 
  4. Ferri et al. (2021)Scoring of large muscle group movements during sleep: An International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) position statement. Sleep   
  5. Konkoly et al. (2021). Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep. Curr Biol.  
  6. van Hasselt et al. (2021). Seasonal variation in sleep homeostasis in migratory geese: a rebound of NREM sleep following sleep deprivation in summer but not in winter. Sleep 
  7. Anna Karin et al. (2021). Insomnia in the context of short sleep increases suicide risk. Sleep 
  8. Hou et al. (2021). Changes in EEG permutation entropy in the evening and in the transition from wake to sleep. Sleep.  

Just published an article? Want your research to be featured? Saw something interesting? Contact us at ESRS 


Upcoming Events

Sleep School 2021 

It’s not too early to register for the 3rd ESRS Sleep Science School on the topic “The Functions of Sleep”!

Are you as excited as we are? It will be held 26 September – 1 October, 2021at the CNRS Villa Clythia site in the city of Frejus at the Mediterranean Sea (South France). Here’s more information on who can apply and how to apply. There are limited places for participation, so don’t delay!


Want to see what else is coming up? Check out our Events Calendar for even more events! 


ESRS Reminders 

The Sleep Medicine Committee (SMC) has extended its deadline for its Call for New Effective Members until 30 April 2021. 

There are several projects that require effective members – We Need You! To get further information or to apply if you’re already interested, please see more details here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]