The European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) Board is pleased to announce the

10th Examination of the Certification in Sleep Medicine.

Please find the requirements and basic credentials as well as information about the application process below.

Time and Place

September 27, 2021, on-line examination

The Examination

The examination will consist of two parts.

Due to technical reasons the two parts of the examination will be done in one on-line examination environment.

According to practical experiences in our previous on-line examinations, the ESRS decided not to have a fixed time for answering the theoretical part and practical part. You start with the theoretical part and will be forwarded to the practical part after having submitted the theoretical  part.

As some of you will be quicker in one or the other part, you will have an over-all time of 210 minutes (120 minutes theoretical part + 90 minutes for the practical part) to answer the questions of both parts.

The first part will be a written test consisting of 100 single-choice questions (one out of five) to be completed on-site. The pass mark is 60%. This part lasts 120 minutes.

The second part of the examination will focus on practical skills and knowledges. This part will involve sleep staging, event scoring and inter-preting sleep studies from PSG recordings and derived parameters, Actigraphy, sleep diary, MSLT/MWT, interpretation of analysis of biological samples relevant for sleep medicine (from blood, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid incl. measures for melatonin, iron, HLA, corticol, hypocretin).

Regarding all scoring tasks successful candidates are expected to achieve an 80% concordance with the panel of experts. The overall passmark of the practical examination is 60%. This part lasts 90 minutes.

Both parts must be successfully passed in order to qualify for certification.


Physicians, Psychologists and Sleep Scientists (with a Master’s degree in science, e.g. biology, physics or other relevant areas) who wish to take the examination should meet the following requirements (please prepare the mentioned documents before starting with the application).

A. Practical Experience

* The candidate will be required to provide written declaration from the Sleep Medicine Centre (SMC) Director where the greater part of the training was completed. The declaration must specify satisfactory and independent performance of the following:

A minimum of 12 months full-time (or equivalent duration if part-time) spent in the SMC. If the applicant has worked in more than one SMC, a minimum period of 6 months must have been spent at one of the centres.

The applicant should have extensive experience within his/her specialised field with sufficient experience across other sleep-wake disorders to ensure safe and competent practice. This includes specialised evaluation and clinical care of at least 100 patients from the different disciplines of sleep medicine (incl. sleep-breathing disorder, insomnia disorder, hypersomnia, movement disorder, circadian disorder).

In relation to the assessment and follow-up of sleep disorders, experience should comprise a range of procedures including:

Physicians: Clinical interviewing, use of diagnostic criteria and classification systems, use of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring

Psychologists: Clinical interviewing, use of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring

Sleep Scientists: Interpretation of sleep diaries, questionnaires and rating scales, psychometric evaluation as well as physiological monitoring

The applicant should have experience of actigraphy and polysomnography (with hook-up, night-time surveillance and scoring, interpretation and reporting of studies), ambulatory cardio-respiratory recording, and Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT) or Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing (MWT) procedures.

In relation to treatment, the applicant (except Sleep Scientists) should have generic skills, including patient education, treatment delivery, progress review, provision of motivation and support.

The applicant should have knowledge of how to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, including, for example, sleep technologists and nurses.

The applicant should also have extensive experience within his/her professional discipline. Accordingly, it is recognised that experience with treatment modalities will vary (e.g. Physician – pharmacotherapy, CPAP; Psychologist – cognitive behavioural therapy, other related therapeutic procedures; Sleep Scientist – author in peer-reviewed articles on sleep).

It is expected that, of the minimum 100 cases evaluated, at least 75% will involve active management of a treatment episode or episodes and monitoring of patient progress and outcome. This consideration applies to both physicians and psychologists.

It is recognised that Sleep Scientists may not have a clinical licence, or may have different roles within a SMC. Nevertheless, equivalent levels of experience and expertise in sleep medicine should be demonstrated in the application and letter of support.

It should be noted that some of the above mentioned experience and competencies may be demonstrable through periods of formal study and training on approved Sleep Medicine courses which have a practical component. Such experience and/or qualification should be specified by the applicant.

B. Theoretical Knowledge

The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of the topics specified in the Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills. This may be achieved by a record of attended courses, or through a university or national sleep medicine degree or certification.

Alternatively, a detailed reference letter from another ESRS Somnologist may be submitted.

Further details can be found in:

Pevernagie et al. EU Guidelines for the Certification of Professionals in Sleep Medicine: Report of the Task Force of the ESRS. J. Sleep Research (2009) 18, 136-141

Penzel et al. Catalogue of knowledge and skills. J. Sleep Research (2014) 23, 222-238

Update: Penzel et al. Sleep medicine catalogue of knowledge and skills – Revision. J. Sleep Research (2021)  30,  https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13394

Update: Main readings

The 2nd edition of the ESRS Sleep Medicine Textbook (2021 edition!!!) is the main recommended reading for this examination. Additional readings may be provided in advance by the Examination Committee. All interpretations in the practical part and some questions in the theoretical part will be based on the 2020 AASM Scoring Manual Version Version 2.6.

Additional readings for the ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine for Somnologists

The examination committee agreed to recommend the articles below as additional readings reading for the pediatric part of the examination. The five articles are the minimum reading. The five papers are linked to the examination questions of this part.

1. L Marcus, Carole & Brooks, Lee & A Draper, Kari & Gozal, David & Halbower, Ann & Jones, Jacqueline & S Schechter, Michael & Howard Sheldon, Stephen & Spruyt, Karen & Ward, Sally & Lehmann, Christoph & Shiffman, Richard. (2012). Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Pediatrics. doi 130. 576-84. 10.1542/peds.2012-1672.

2. D.L. Picchietti et al./Sleep Medicine 14 (2013) 1253–1259, Pediatric restless legs syndrome diagnostic criteria: an update by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group, doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2013.08.778

3. Irwin Feinberg, Ian G. Campbell/Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 304: R296–R303, 2013, Longitudinal sleep EEG trajectories indicate complex patterns of adolescent brain maturation, doi 10.1152/ajpgi.00422.2012

4. Conway, Anne & Miller, Alison & Modrek, Anahid. (2016). Testing Reciprocal Links Between Trouble Getting to Sleep and Internalizing Behavior Problems, and Bedtime Resistance and Externalizing Behavior Problems in Toddlers. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. doi 48. 10.1007/s10578-016-0692-x.

5. Bruni, Oliviero & Sette, Stefania & Angriman, Marco & Baumgartner, Emma & Selvaggini, Lara & Belli, Cristina & Ferri, Raffaele. (2018). Clinically Oriented Subtyping of Chronic Insomnia of Childhood. The Journal of Pediatrics. doi 196. 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.01.036.

For all those, who want to get a broader overwiew of the common sleep disorders in infancy, early childhood and adolescence:

Sleep Disorders in Children ,Nevšímalová, Soňa, Bruni, Oliviero (Eds.), Springer 2017, link to the book

C. In addition the applicant must:

Provide names and email addresses of 2 referees, who are not applying for the examination at the same time, preferably from another European country. One should be an ESRS member.

*Submit a detailed CV with relevant education and employment history plus scanned copies of relevant qualifications, and meeting attendance certificates.

Be a current ESRS member (if you are not an ESRS member please visit www.esrs.eu/membership-services/join-now.html).

Pay the examination fee (payment will be made by using a credit card, Paypal or by bank transfer).

(*Please prepare the above-mentioned documents before starting the application. The documents can be uploaded as PDF-files or JPEG-files within the online application system. Any other file formats f.ex. MS WORD-files will be automatically rejected by the online application system. The name of the PDF-file must include the name of the applicant and the content of the document. We recommend putting all documents in one pdf-file. The size of the PDF-file should not exceed 1 MB)

Other candidates that feel they may fulfill the eligibility criteria, please contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

D. The Qualification

The successful candidate will have the ESRS qualification title of “Somnologist” with one of the following specifications:

Somnologist – Expert in Sleep Medicine

Somnologist – Expert in Behavioural Sleep Medicine

Somnologist – Sleep Scientist

Somnologist - Physician Assistant

E. Examination Fee

The examination fee is 400 EUR (included is a non-refundable 90 EUR application fee, payable on submission of the application).

F. Online Application

The online application will be open from January 15, 2020 – February 28, 2021.

G. Acceptance of your application

You will be notified regarding the acceptance of your application by mid-April 2021.

J. Repeating or shifting the examination

All those, who missed the examination passmark in one or two parts of the examination are allowed to repeat the missed part(s) of the examination at the next examination date free of charge and without a renewed application. The repeaters are required to confirm their participation by email.

Any accepted applicant, who can't sit the examination for personal reasons is allowed to postpone the participation to the next available examination datefree of charge and without a renewed application one time. The roll-overs are required to confirm their participation by email.

K. ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine Grants (this program is supended for 2021)

The ESRS Board is pleased to announce a program of travel grants related to the ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine to support participants within Europe. Applications for this program will be accepted together with your application from January 15 – February 28 2021. For grant requirements please read this.


For any further questions please contact:

Axel Wiechmann
ESRS Sleep Medicine Examinations Office
Andreasstr. 4, 93059 Regensburg, Germany
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  ESRS Textbook

(The 2014 edition of the ESRS Textbook was the main recommende reading for all examination from 2015 - 2020. For the 2021 examintion in Sleep Medicine the new, soon expected 2021 edition of the Textbook will be the main reading. If you are going to sit the 2021 examination, please wait with your order for the release of the edition!).