Current controversies in sleep medicine

Monday 16th November 2020 

8:45am to 5:00pm

Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom


This meeting aims to educate attendees about the most common forms of sleep disorders seen routinely within the NHS, and in particular aims to provide support with tacking areas of difficult decision making and recent scientific advances.

Attendees can expect to:

  • The treatment of mild obstructive sleep apnoea given unprecedented demand on sleep services and a very recent review of the evidence base for investigation and management of obstructive sleep apnoea by NICE
  • The challenges of sleepy drivers, the known science to help advise patients and the medical, legal and ethical issues around driving, sleepiness and road safety in an increasingly challenging blame culture
  • Are painkillers more dangerous than sleep tablets? Understand the impact of hypnotics and painkillers. The mismatch between strict prescribing restriction on hypnotics but less regulation of other sedatives and opioid painkillers.
  • The challenges of diagnosing and treating idiopathic hypersomnia, understanding of the limitations of the tests and potential side effects of the therapies

This is the first combined meeting of the British Sleep Society and the Sleep Medicine section of the RSM, bringing together two different groups of health professionals.

Join us in this interactive meeting conducted in a debate format, with a speaker for and against the motion, and giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions and cast their votes. Additionally, join Professor Jerome Siegel, a world expert in the mysteries of REM sleep for a masterclass on the current and future directions of REM sleep research and narcolepsy.


Early bird pricing available until 07 June 2020.


BSS Fellow/

Full Member

BSS Associate /

Entry Level



£77.00 £46.00  £24.00



Key speakers

Professor Jerome Siegel

Director of the Center for Sleep Research, UCLA Department of Psychiatry, California

Speaker's biography

Professor Siegel works at one of the oldest and most prestigious sleep research institutes in the world attracting many researchers and clinicians. He is internationally known for his decades of work on the control and disorders of REM sleep.

Doctor Paul Reading

Neurologist, James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough

Speaker's biography

Dr Reading is the past president of the British Sleep Society, and specialises in CNS hypersomnias. He has advised the DVLA on driving and has more experience of the novel stimulant therapies in the UK than any other centres.




Registration, tea and coffee

Welcome and introduction

Dr Kirstie Anderson, Consultant Neurologist, President of the Sleep Medicine section of the Royal Society of Medicine and Professor Joerg Steier, Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician. President of the British Sleep Society.

The Motion: Should we treat mild obstructive sleep apnoea

For – TBC

Against – Dr Ari Manuel, Aintree Hospital, Liverpool 

The Motion: The best judge of sleepy driving is the driver

For – Dr Annabella Nickol, University of Oxford and Oxford University History Society 

Against – Dr Paul Goldsmith, Consultant Neurologist, Medical Defence Union 

Tea and coffee break

The Motion: Painkillers are higher risk than sleeping tablets

Dr Kirstie Anderson, Consultant Neurologist, President of the Sleep Medicine section of the Royal Society of Medicine

Against – TBC 

The Motion: Idiopathic hypersomnia is over diagnosed (usually by non-psychiatrists)

For – Dr David O’Regan, Consultant Psychiatrist, Sleep Service, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust 

Against: Dr Paul Reading, Consultant Neurologist, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough 


Controversies in REM sleep an evolutionary perspective of dream sleep

Professor Jerome Siegel, Director of the Center for Sleep Research University of California, Los Angeles

Question and answer session

Tea and coffee break

Panel discussion led by Professor Siegel – current debate in the sleep clinic

Concluding remarks

End of meeting