Sleep Medicine Examination – Requirements and Application for Somnologists

Sleep Medicine Examination – Requirements and Application for Somnologists

13th Examination of the Certification in Sleep Medicine

The European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) Board is pleased to announce the 13th Examination of the Certification in Sleep Medicine.

Please find the requirements and basic credentials as well as information about the application process below.

Format, time and place 

The next ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine will take place as an hybrid (on-line and on-site) event in September 2024 alongside the 27th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society. 


The Examination 

The examination will consist of two parts. 

  1. The first part will be a written test consisting of 100 single-choice questions (one out of five). This part lasts 120 minutes. The passmark is 60%. 

  1. The second part of the examination will focus on practical skills and knowledges. This part will involve sleep staging, event scoring and interpreting sleep studies from PSG recordings and derived parameters, actigraphy, sleep diary, MSLT/MWT, interpretation of analysis of biological samples relevant for sleep medicine (from blood, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid incl. measures for melatonin, iron, HLA, corticol, hypocretin). Regarding all scoring tasks, candidates are expected to achieve an 80% concordance with the panel of experts. This part lasts 90 minutes. The overall passmark of the practical examination is 60%. 

  2. Both parts must be successfully passed in order to qualify for certification. 



Physicians, Psychologists, Sleep Scientists (with a Master’s degree in science, e.g. biology, physics or other relevant areas) and Physician Assistants, who wish to take the examination should meet the following requirements (please prepare the mentioned documents before starting with the application). 

* A copy of your highest degree. 

A. Practical Experience 

* The candidate will be required to provide written declaration from the Sleep Medicine Centre (SMC) Director where the greater part of the training was completed. The declaration must specify satisfactory and independent performance of the following: 

A minimum of 12 months full-time (or equivalent duration if part-time) spent in the SMC. If the applicant has worked in more than one SMC, a minimum period of 6 months must have been spent at one of the centres. 

The applicant should have extensive experience within their specialised field, with sufficient experience across other sleep-wake disorders to ensure safe and competent practice. This includes specialised evaluation and clinical care of at least 100 patients from the different disciplines of sleep medicine (incl. sleep-breathing disorder, insomnia disorder, hypersomnia, movement disorder, circadian disorder). 

In relation to the assessment and follow-up of sleep disorders, experience should comprise a range of procedures, including: 


Physicians: Clinical interviewing, use of diagnostic criteria and classification systems, use of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring. 

Psychologists: Clinical interviewing, use of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring. 

Sleep Scientists: Interpretation of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring. 

The applicant should have experience of actigraphy and polysomnography (with hook-up, nighttime surveillance and scoring, interpretation and reporting of studies), ambulatory cardio-respiratory recording, and Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT) or Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing (MWT) procedures. 

In relation to treatment, the applicant (except Sleep Scientists) should have generic skills, including patient education, treatment delivery, progress review, provision of motivation and support. 


The applicant should also have extensive experience within their professional discipline.

Accordingly, it is recognised that experience with treatment modalities will vary

(e.g. Physicianpharmacotherapy, CPAP; Psychologistcognitive behavioural therapy, other related therapeutic procedures; 

Sleep Scientist – author in peer-reviewed articles on sleep). 

It is expected that, of the minimum 100 cases evaluated, at least 75% will involve active management of a treatment episode or episodes and monitoring of patient progress and outcome. This consideration applies to both physicians and psychologists. 


It is recognised that Sleep Scientists may not have a clinical licence, or may have different roles within an SMC. Nevertheless, equivalent levels of experience and expertise in sleep medicine should be demonstrated in the application and letter of support. 

It should be noted that some of the above mentioned experience and competencies may be demonstrable through periods of formal study and training on approved Sleep Medicine courses which have a practical component. Such experience and/or qualification should be specified by the applicant. 


B. Theoretical Knowledge 

*The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of the topics specified in the Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills. This may be achieved by a record of attended courses, or through a university or national sleep medicine degree or certification. 

* Alternatively, a detailed reference letter from another ESRS Somnologist may be submitted. 


Further details can be found in: 

Pevernagie et al. EU Guidelines for the Certification of Professionals in Sleep Medicine: Report of the Task Force of the ESRS. J. Sleep Research (2009) 18, 136-141. 

Penzel et al. Sleep medicine catalogue of knowledge and skills – Revision. J. Sleep Research (2021) 30, Please see Table 2 in this article, it maps the rough distribution of credits re. questions regarding the sections of the examination. 

C. Main readings 

The 2nd edition of the ESRS Sleep Medicine Textbook (2021 edition!!!) is the main recommended reading for this examination. Additional readings may be provided in advance by the Examination Committee. 

All interpretations in the practical part and some questions in the theoretical part will be based on the 2020 AASM Scoring Manual Version Version 2.6. 

D. In addition, the applicant must: 

* Provide names and email addresses of 2 referees, who are not applying for the examination at the same time, preferably from another European country. One should be an ESRS member. 

* Submit a detailed CV with relevant education and employment history plus scanned copies of relevant qualifications, and meeting attendance certificates. 


Be a current ESRS member at the time of their application and examination. (If you are not an ESRS member, please visit 

Pay the examination fee (payment will be made by using a credit card, PayPal or by bank transfer). 

Other candidates that feel they may fulfill the eligibility criteria, please contact: 

E. Required documents 


Please prepare the above-mentioned documents (marked with *) before starting the application. The documents can be uploaded as PDF-files or JPEG-files within the online application system. Any other file formats, f.ex. MS WORD-files will be automatically rejected by the online application system. The name of the PDF-file must include the name of the applicant and the content of the document. We recommend putting all documents in one pdf-file. The size of each uploaded file should not exceed 5 MB. 


F. The Qualification 

The successful candidate will have the ESRS qualification title of “Somnologist” with one of the following specifications: 


Somnologist – Expert in Sleep Medicine 

Somnologist – Expert in Behavioural Sleep Medicine 

Somnologist – Sleep Scientist 

Somnologist Physician Assistant 

G. Examination Fee

  • The on-line examination fee is 600.- EUR (included is a non-refundable 90.- EUR administration fee, payable on submission of the application). 
  • The on-site examination fee is 400.- EUR (included is a nonrefundable 90.- EUR administration fee, payable on submission of the application). 


H. Online Application 

The online application will be open from December 01, 2023 – January 31, 2024. 


I. Acceptance of your application 

You will be notified regarding the acceptance of your application at latest by mid-March 2024. 


L. Repeating or shifting the examination 

All those who missed the examination passmark in one or two parts of the examination, are allowed to repeat the failed part(s) of the examination at the next examination date, free of charge and without a renewed application. The repeaters are required to confirm their participation by email. 

Any accepted applicant who can’t sit the examination for personal reasons is allowed to postpone the participation to the next available examination date free of charge and without a renewed application one time. The roll-overs are required to confirm their participation by email. 

M.  On-line examination – examination rules and settings 

Please see the on-line exam rules and settings , which are part of the requirements 


N. On-site examination – examination rules and settings 

Please see the on-site exam rules and settings, which are part of the requirements 

O. Examination grant 

The ESRS Board is pleased to announce a program of six grants related to the ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine to support participants. Applications for this program will be accepted together with your application from December 01, 2023 – January 31, 2024. For grant requirements, please read this. 

For any further questions, please contact our exam team: 


revision: 20.10.2023