Rockin´and Readin´with Prof. Riemann – The Beatles

Sleep & sleep disorders in popular culture

Dear members of the ESRS,
Dear colleagues,

I think we all share a common interest in the science of sleep and clinical sleep medicine. For my part, I have been active in this field for almost 40 years now. Somehow, my deep interest in the topic has endowed me with a kind of “attentional bias” for all things sleep-related. That is to say, if somewhere the word sleep or any reference to sleep disorders pops up, it captures my attention more than other topics.

As I am also an avid and ecclectic reader of many kinds of different books, ranging from Shakespeare´s century to nowadays, and of many different genres, ranging from drama,  novels, short stories to crime fiction, I have accumulated a library with books which have a strong focus on dealing with sleep-related content.

The same applies to my musical tastes: recently I was asked which kind of classical music I appreciate and I answered ”.. you know, I see myself more in rock music circles…”. Starting with the Beatles (I was born in 1958), their songs blaring from the radio (which video had not already killed at that time) provided a background to growing up in the Bavarian capital, Munich in the 1960’s (I almost remember it now like a black and white film, rather than being in colour). Later on, more exotic tastes prevailed with a strong leaning towards so-called progressive rock music (ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, VdGG, Jethro Tull and the likes). In the meantime, I have lost any dogmatism towards music and mainly enjoy music, sometimes as a background, sometimes with concentrated listening.

Given these pre-conditions, I suggested to the board of the ESRS to install a kind of regular blog, introducing and commenting on how sleep/ sleep disorders are reflected in popular culture.

The Beatles (and Sleep)

Let me start today with music and the Beatles – unnecessary to introduce them. To me, they have contributed some of the finest songs depicting different aspects of sleep.

Just listen to “I’m only sleeping” from the album REVOLVER (1966)!

Here are two different versions: one you can find on the record and also an acoustic version.

If you want to read the lyrics to this and other beautiful Beatles songs, here they are!

For me this is one of the nicest descriptions of sleep!

Another song I’d like to highlight is “I’m so tired” (from REVOLVER as well), which makes us familiar with several aspects of insomnia.

This has everything you need to know about insomnia – a combination of night- and daytime complaints, poor sleep hygiene and the suffering!

Now, that´s all for the day!

Please bear in mind I am neither a literary or music critic, but just a dilettante with a strong background in sleep research and sleep medicine. Insofar, I would be happy to introduce you to the popular side of our clinical and research focus – I did learn a lot from these side-aspects of our field! I do not intend any kind of systematical analysis but mainly fun-driven commenting on music and books I like and which you – I hope at least – might also like and enjoy!


Virtual Sleep and Breathing 2021 

Sleep and Breathing Virtual is taking place in only a couple weeks: April 16-17, 2021! Have you registered? Get ready for 3 days packed with a variety of hot topic symposia, case based discussions, skills labs, debates and more! Check out the line up here: Sleep and Breathing 2021 – Virtual – Programme (ersnet.org) 

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!

Sleep Medicine Committee Call for Effective Members

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. 

Recent publications from ESRS members

  1. Asah et al. (2021). Morbidity, Mortality, and Conversion to Neurodegenerative Diseases in Patients with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and REM Sleep without Atonia. Neuroepidemiology.
  2. Pani et al. (2021). Sleep-related hypermotor epilepsy and non-rapid eye movement parasomnias: Differences in the periodic and aperiodic component of the electroencephalographic power spectra. J Sleep Res.
  3. Pépin et al. (2021). Greatest changes in objective sleep architecture during COVID-19 lockdown in night-owls with increased REM sleep. Sleep.
  4. Meszaros et al. (2021). Circulating levels of clusterin and complement factor H in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Biomark Med.
  5. Sousouri et al. (2021). Sleep electroencephalographic asymmetry in Parkinson’s disease patients before and after deep brain stimulation. Clin Neurophysiol.
  6. Christensen et al. (2021). Association of neurocognitive functioning with sleep stage dissociation and REM sleep instability in medicated patients with schizophrenia. J Psychiatr Res.
  7. Stefani et al. (2021). Changing color and intensity of LED lighting across the day impacts on circadian melatonin rhythms and sleep in healthy men. J Pineal Res.
  8. Bailly et al.(2021). Clusters of sleep apnoea phenotypes: A large pan-European study from the European Sleep Apnoea Database (ESADA). Respirology.
  9. Steffen et al. (2021). Home Sleep Testing to Direct Upper Airway Stimulation Therapy Optimization for Sleep Apnea. Laryngoscope.
  10. Kulkas et al. (2021). Comparison of the effect of weight change, simulated computational continuous positive airway pressure treatment and positional therapy on severity of sleep apnea. J Sleep Res. 
  11. Petrovic et al. (2021). Diversity of simultaneous sleep in the motor cortex and hippocampus in rats. J Sleep Res.
  12. Markovic et al. (2021). Sleep neurophysiology in childhood onset schizophrenia. J Sleep Res.
Just published an article? Want your research to be featured?
Saw something interesting?