Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Schlafforschung, Schlafmedizin und Chronobiologie

Société Suisse de Recherche sur le Sommeil, de Médecine du Sommeil et de Chronobiologie

Swiss Society for Sleep Research, Sleep Medicine and Chronobiology


Prof. Dr. med. Martin Hatzinger

Email: martin.hatzinger@spital.so.ch

Foundation year


Number of members


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

44 % Pneumologists, 20 % Neurologists, 10 % PhDs, 7 % Psychiatrists, 4 % Pediatricians, and 15% various specialties.

Historical perspective of the society

The society was founded in Zurich in 1991 with the aim of integrating sleep research, sleep medicine and chronobiology. Its first president was Prof. A. Borbély. In 1997, the society received a mandate from the Ministry of Health to formulate conditions and procedures for the accreditation of sleep centers. Since then, the society has accredited 30 sleep centers whose services are recognized by health insurance companies.

Important sleep physicians / researchers in the history of the NSS

Clinical research: Michel Gaillard, Christian W. Hess, Konrad Bloch, Mathias Gugger, Johannes Mathis and Claudio Bassetti.
Basic research: Alexander Borbély, Anna Wirz-Justice, Irene Tobler, Peter Achermann and Mehdi Tafti.

Number of Sleep Medicine Centers

30. For a complete list see: swiss-sleep.ch/dokumente/Centers.pdf

Number of Sleep Research Centers


Accreditation / Certification procedure

Our society provides a certificate in sleep medicine for MDs with a specialization in Pneumology, Psychiatry or Neurology. In order to receive the certification, MDs must have worked in an accredited sleep center in Switzerland or abroad for at least 6 months, have diagnosed and worked with a minimal number of individuals with sleep disorders, and have conducted and assessed a certain number of polysomnographies, MSLTs, MWTs, actigraphies, respiratory polygraphies and oxymetries. MDs from
other disciplines require an additional 2 years of sleep education.
A similar procedure exists for PhDs and psychologists, but in addition they must pass the examination of the German Sleep Society for Somnologists.
Sleep centers are accredited if they can assure an interdisciplinary team including at least a pneumologist, a psychiatrist, and a neurologist. The head of this team must have received a minimum of two years of training in sleep medicine and received a certificate in sleep medicine. Consultants must provide an education comparable to the certificate in sleep medicine. In addition, technicians, rooms and equipment of the sleep laboratory must also meet certain criteria.

Educational programs

Workshops for continuing education are organized at the annual meetings. Credits for continuing education are also provided.

Present activities, working groups, task forces

We have an annual scientific meeting with workshops, keynote lectures, oral and poster presentations.
Approximately every 2nd year we hold the meeting in conjunction with another society. Committees of experts convene to perform a variety of functions including: awarding certification in sleep medicine, accreditation and re-accreditation of Sleep Centers, awarding prizes and travel grants, reimbursement practice of oral appliances, ensuring recognition of our certification by the Swiss Medical Association, and providing guidelines for the assessment of the ability to drive in patients with sleep disorders.

January 29, 2019
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