Meanwhile, sleep medicine is established as discipline and since 2005 it is recognized by the German Medical Associations (Ärztekammern) as additional qualification. Numerous physicians have received their certificates by taking an exam in this field. 

The general focus is placed more and more on sleep problems because sleep has been identified as time period of optimization in the era of digitization and individual optimization. Many complaints about poor or non-restorative sleep can already be eliminated by consultation and information as well as practical tips. Other complaints are not so easy to manage so that patients seek advice of sleep specialists.

It is our utmost interest as interdisciplinary scientific medical association to provide comprehensive and high-quality care for patients suffering from sleep medical problems. We ensure the certification of sleep labs, certification of sleep specialists and staff members in sleep labs, and we take care of education and training of physicians in the field of sleep medicine. We support research on sleep medicine in Germany, care for junior researchers, and promote networking of sleep medicine with international activities in this dynamic discipline.

Sleep medicine and research must be understood as discipline with focus on basic research and a high percentage of innovation because technology and digitization are part of sleep medical diagnostics right from the start. With regard to the basics of sleep research, we are able today to describe many mechanisms, we know what sleep and lack of sleep lead to; however, neurochemical basics have not been entirely assessed up to now. Research in this basic field will help improving personalized sleep medical care also for our patients.

Thomas Penzel