2019 Year-End Letter

Dear Members & Colleagues,

Happy New Year from everyone at World Sleep Society! As we stop to reflect on our successful 2019, I offer a message of thanks for supporting our organization that has accomplished so much in the past year. From the largest World Sleep congress in history to the Inaugural Class of our mentee program (ISTRP), 2019 was a momentous year (read full Annual Report).

Without the dedication and efforts of our international committee members, coupled with our hardworking and capable staff, 2019 would not have seen such grand successes. I would like to thank outgoing Executive Committee Members, Dr. Yuichi Inoue and Dr. Thomas Penzel. As this is my first term as President, I would also like to thank Past-President, Dr. Charles Morin, for guiding our organization forward.

World Sleep 2019 in Vancouver was the largest of our congresses to date, with 3,583 clinicians, researchers, trainees and technologists from 77 countries in attendance. The program offered remarkable scientific content covering all aspects of sleep sciences, debuting 320 hours of scientific content including 12 keynotes, 23 pre-congress courses and workshops, 99 symposia and panel discussions and 1,313 abstract presentations. World Sleep content was presented by thousands of sleep medicine and research professionals, making us the largest scientific program on sleep medicine and research, anywhere. New in 2019 was our OnDemand session recording, which captured content from much of the congress. Post-congress, we were pleased to see that 92% of respondents were satisfied with the scientific quality of World Sleep 2019. The scientific quality was driven by you, our World Sleep Society members, and the excellent and sustained work of our 2019 Committees.

Several of our other programs provided sleep medicine and research education. After receiving applications to join the ISRTP mentor/mentee training program from half a dozen countries, five applicants were selected, creating the inaugural class of our newly-created program. In 2019, In addition to mentoring and training sleep research leaders, 76 individual professionals from 16 countries passed the International Sleep Medicine Examination, becoming sleep specialists. In the public sector, we held our first Patient Sleep Expo in conjunction with the congress, as well as raised awareness of the importance of sleep on World Sleep Day, a thriving event that has included 88 countries around the globe.

As we embark into 2020, please accept our thanks and appreciation for the dedication and support you share. It is my honor to lead World Sleep Society forward. Together, we can make 2020 our best year yet!


Birgit Högl, MD
President, World Sleep Society

See full list of World Sleep Society leadership.


Our 2019 Photo Highlights


Program Committee in New York City to finalize symposia & courses for World Sleep 2019


Site selection for World Sleep 2021


The globe unites for World Sleep Day 2019


ISRTP inaugural class announced


World Sleep Day Distinguished Activity Awards Selected


Participated in American Academy of Sleep Medicine & Sleep Research Society’s SLEEP meeting


Loss of a sleep pioneer, Dr. Christian Guilleminault


World Sleep 2019 secured the largest exhibitor floor plan and sponsorship list in its history


World Sleep 2019 brings 3,583 sleep professionals to Vancouver, Canada


Participated in the Chinese Sleep Research Meeting


Administered the exam in Vietnam, bringing the number of Sleep Specialists who passed the exam in 2019 up to 76


Participated in the Brazilian Sleep Society Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil