Description of Content

The World Sleep Society Sleep Medicine Examination is designed to cover many aspects of sleep science, extant practice guidelines, diagnostic nosology, presentation and associated features of sleep disorders, epidemiology of sleep disorders, clinical pharmacology, behavioral therapeutics, instrumentation, methodology, and sleep health. The specific organization for the examination into three parts as follows:

Part 1- Basic and clinical science (60 questions)

Part 2- Applied methods and standards in sleep medicine (60 questions)

Part 3- Clinical practice (30 questions)

For specific information about the prerequisites for sitting for the WASM exam and the spectrum of topics covered see the WASM Curriculum posted on this website.

All questions will be multiple-choice. Some questions will refer to graphic illustrations and some will refer to case scenarios. Examples are provided below.

Example 1:

In which of the following states do cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain have the highest firing rate?

a- Stage N3 sleep

b- REM and Stage N3 sleep

c- Waking and REM sleep

d- Waking and Stage N3 sleep

e- Stage N2 sleep

Example 2:

Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern involves sleep-disordered breathing events that have a crescendo-decrescendo pattern of tidal volume. Which of the following diagnostic criteria for the frequency of these events is required by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, second edition (ICSD-2)?

a- Five central apnea per hour of sleep

b- Ten central apnea per hour of sleep

c- Five central apnea or central hypopnea per hour of sleep

d- Ten central apnea or central hypopnea per hour of sleep

e- none of the above

Example 3:

A 25-year old man presents at the sleep clinic with excessive sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night. He generally goes to bed at midnight but does not fall asleep until 2 A.M. He has difficulty arising at 7 A.M. to go to work. Because of his sleep deprivation, he sleeps until noon on Saturday and Sunday. He does not drink caffeine. He describes hypnopompic hallucinations and has experienced sleep paralysis five or six times in this life. He does not describe symptoms of cataplexy. Which of the following would be the best provisional diagnosis?

a- idiopathic hypersomnia

b- delayed sleep phase syndrome

c- narcolepsy without cataplexy

d- maladaptive syndrome

e- atypical depression

Example 4:

Which of the following best describes the activity on EMGLAT and EMGRAT illustrated on the figure below?

a- Restless leg activity

b- Attempted walking during a dream in a patient with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

c- Severe, repeating, multiple muscle cramps during sleep

d- Alternating PLMs

e- Movements associated with the march of a Jacksonian Seizure