Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders Week

Sleep Disorders Week

Welcome Message

The Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology Assembly is pleased to partner with the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable in sponsoring Sleep Disorders Week 2014 at the ATS.  Sleep disorders are amongst the most prevalent complaints in today’s society, with both insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness effecting 6-10% of Americans several days per week or more.  Unfortunately, the consequences of impaired sleep and sleep disorders are frequently under recognized and many patients go undiagnosed and untreated for years.  Some of the most common sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy.  Many patients have problems with how their circadian rhythms align with clock time; the two most common disorders in this group are shift work and sleep phase delay.

Of the many sleep disorders, our assembly is most interested in breathing disorders during sleep. There are two types of sleep-disordered breathing during sleep.  The more common, effecting at least 2% of women and 4% of men, is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  OSA is most common in men and persons with obesity and its frequency in the population has been unfortunately increasing with the obesity epidemic. OSA is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular complications such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke.  Central sleep apnea is less common but can be present in upwards of 30% of patients with congestive heart failure and is associated with increased mortality in these patients.  Fortunately, treatment of both types of sleep disordered breathing can improve quality of life and health outcomes.

Members of the Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology Assembly are world leaders in investigating the causes, consequences, diagnosis and management of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.  Our research encompasses investigations on how we breathe at night, why our airways collapse at night, effects of low oxygen levels, and innovations in the treatment of sleep apnea.   Our members are experts in translating the science underlying sleep disordered breathing to effective and practical treatments for these disorders.

The ATS is committed to ensuring that stakeholders see the enduring value of ongoing work and research related to sleep disordered breathing.


James Rowley, MD

James Rowley, MD
Past Chair, ATS Assembly
on Sleep and Neurobiology