The 18th Irish Sleep Society annual scientific meeting and AGM took place on April 1st 2022 at the Dublin Airport Carlton hotel. The focus of this year’s meeting was on lessons to be drawn for sleep medicine from experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, and on the role of Circadian function on health and disease.
Prof Ludger Grote (University of Gothenburg) outlined how European sleep medicine practitioners had adapted to the challenge of delivering care during the pandemic, and the impact that this had on diagnostic and therapeutic pathways, as well as on patients’ adherence to treatment. The prior focus on in-laboratory testing made this particularly challenging in paediatric sleep medicine, but Dr Sheila Javadpour (Children’s Health Ireland, Crumlin) described the service innovations that allowed her patients to access timely care. To close this session, Dr Barry Kennedy (St James’ Hospital, Dublin) and Dr Liam Doherty (Bons Secours Hospital, Cork) debated the roles of remote and face to face care in sleep medicine, concluding that sleep clinics of the future will likely continue to feature a combination of the two.
The second session revolved around the importance of time and the Circadian clock in health and disease. Irish Sleep Society president Dr Silke Ryan (St Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin) discussed the European Union’s plans to abolish the biannual clock change, and how permanently fixing our clocks in Irish Summer Time could have very significant negative effects on population health. Prof Tom de Boer (University of Leiden) closed the annual scientific meeting by telling the audience of what lessons can drawn from animal models in our understanding of how circadian rhythm and sleep homeostasis interact in controlling sleep and wakefulness.
Following the close of annual scientific meeting, the AGM business meeting saw the ratification of a new committee structure, and the election of Ms Aisling McGowan (Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown), Dr Sheila Javadpour, and Prof Eddie Moloney (Tallaght University Hospital) to the Irish Sleep Society committee for 2022-23.