This past September sleep scientists and medical professionals from 75 countries converged on Canada’s western coast to present new research, exchange ideas, and discuss the most current scientific content in the field of sleep medicine. For six days Vancouver was the hub of all things sleep, putting a well-deserved spotlight on sleep health.
Centre for Sleep’s Medical Director, Dr. Samuels, attended the bi-annual congress with a focus on sleep in athletics. In addition to presenting “Effect of Sleep on Sports Performance and Sports Injury” during the public lecture series, he also participated in the Sleep Research Society (SRS) & Canadian Sleep Society (CSS) Frontiers Scientific Workshop, and was Co-Chair and panel member for the Symposium: “Sleep, mental health, and performance in elite athletes”. For the workshop, which focused on data linking sleep to brain function and physiology in both experimental and population-based studies, Dr. Samuels was joined by industry leaders, Dr. Monika Haack (Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School), Dr. Chandra L. Jackson (Earl Stadtman Investigator at NIEHS), and Dr. David Samson (Assistant Professor, Biological Anthropology, UTM). The invited key speaker was renowned sleep expert Dr. Phyllis Zee. Dr. Zee’s impressive curriculum vitae includes Chief of Sleep Medicine (Neurology) at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Benjamin and Virginia T. Boshes Professor in Neurology, and the director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine (CCSM).
For the symposium, Dr. Samuels was joined by sleep medicine colleagues that share his passion for sleep health in elite athletes. Co-Chair and panel member, Dr. Michael Grandner, is well known in the sleep medicine profession and has been featured in 100’s of publications and news programs, including TIME magazine, The New York Times, and CNN. Dr. Grandner is the Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the Banner-University Medical Center, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Samuels and Dr. Grandner were also accompanied by Dr. Ian Dunican (Director of Melius Consulting/Sleep4Performance), and Jonathan Charest, who has recently joined the CSHP team as our Director of Athlete Services and Behavioural Sleep Medicine Specialist.
In addition to his participation in World Sleep 2019, Dr. Samuels was interviewed by several news organizations during the congress, to provide his expertise on the importance of sleep in sports. He connected with Michelle Eliot on BC Today (segment begins at the 26:45 mark), as well as Calgary Today with Joe McFarland on Global’s 770 CHQR. Make sure to also check out the CBC article “Lack of sleep makes child athletes more likely to get injured”, featuring Dr. Samuels.
The World Sleep Congress 2019 was a fantastic success, with record-breaking registration of more than 3,580 attendees. A big thank you to World Sleep organizer, World Sleep Society, and to the Canadian Sleep Society and the city of Vancouver for hosting this world-class event, and helping in the advancement of sleep health. Looking forward to World Sleep 2021 in Rio!