Happy Holidays!  The AASM has been quite busy on numerous initiatives during this holiday season.  We are working diligently on the proposal that the AASM will be submitting for the CMS Health Care Innovation Challenge. We also have had a Nominating Committee meeting during which a new president-elect and board member were proposed.  Those names will be presented to the board of directors in January for approval.  The SAD task force (Sleep Apnea Definitions) has been examining the current respiratory definitions in the scoring manual. Also at our January board meeting, we will have all of the task force and committee chairs in to discuss their progress through the year and present ideas for the upcoming year.  We will soon be asking for volunteers for committees as well, so those of you who are interested in getting more involved in the AASM, please look for that announcement.

We also are getting very excited about the SLEEP 2012 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) in Boston.  We have more abstract submissions than any other year and are anticipating a record-breaking meeting.  A large number of physicians took the recent ABMS sleep medicine certification exam, since it was the last year for “grandfathering”; the final number that passed is not yet available, but it is anticipated that there will be more than 9,000 board-certified sleep specialists in the U.S. in 2012.  So the interest in sleep medicine is at an all-time high! 

But we cannot rest on our success; we must continue to work on attracting the best scientists and physicians into our fellowship programs to build upon the ongoing research in our field.  As an example, please be sure and read the article published in JAMA this week on Sleep Disorders in Police Officers – another example of the superb research being done in sleep to bring notice to the effect that sleep deprivation and disorders have on health.

So, I wish you all Happy Holidays with some rest and relaxation.  I must say, I worry about Santa out there flying all night – hopefully he has been preparing by taking long naps during the day.  Are reindeer nocturnal animals?  Hmm, hadn’t thought of that… 

At any rate, please consider making a year-end contribution to the American Sleep Medicine Foundation to help fund the type of critical research we need to continue to discover new information and treatments for our patients with sleep disorders.  Best wishes to all and looking forward to a great 2012!

Nancy Collop, MD