President's Blog - SEPTEMBER 2017

Dear SBSM Members,

September is upon us and it is back-to-school time.  This is a great time to remind SBSM members and their colleague to join us at our annual BSM Course which is held in Minneapolis, MN on September 16 & 17.  This year’s theme is Caring for Patients with Complex Sleep Problems and there will be lectures and case presentations from nationally recognized experts.  This is also a great opportunity to network with other BSM colleagues and to chat informally with the course faculty.  We would like to thank our education supporters who have contributed to putting on this conference:  Allina Health (, Fairview Health Services, (, Sleep Health Partners, (  Click here for further details on the BSM Course, Please encourage your colleagues to attend.  I hope to see you there!

I want to provide two important updates to our members.  First, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has recently approved the formation of the Science Advisory Committee (SAC). The mission of the SAC is to elevate the scientific profile of the SBSM, to encourage scientific activity among its membership, and to communicate scientific standards of behavioral sleep medicine to other organizations and to the public.  If you are interested in serving as a member of the SAC, please send your CV and a statement of interest to.

Second, I want to update our members on my initiative to build relationships with other organizations.  We are partnering with the Obesity Action Coalition to support and promote National Obesity Care Week, which is October 29th – November 4th. Given that research has demonstrated a relationship between insufficient sleep and obesity, the SBSM can promote the importance of sleep health and sleep behaviors in weight management.  Look for more announcements and information in the weeks to come.

Last month, I issued a “challenge” to engage in a conversation about BSM and hypersomnia.  Here is how our members responded to the challenge.

Nearly 60% of members who responded are currently involved in patient care or research related to hypersomnia, the majority of which are involved in patient care.  These consist of activities such as: assessment to rule out other factors that could contribute to excessive sleepiness (e.g., comorbid psychiatric conditions), behavioral interventions to optimize daytime functioning (e.g., scheduled daytime naps) and nocturnal sleep (e.g., consolidation/regulation schedule), coping with relationship/occupational issues, and providing education about hypersomnia to patients.

Over 90% of members who responded expressed support for the SBSM to provide educational programs on hypersomnia or to engage in collaborations with other organizations that support hypersomnia.  There were many comments and suggestions with regards to what the SBSM can do. The most popular suggestion was to provide education on the delivery and implementation of specific behavioral techniques and appropriate assessment of hypersomnia.  There was also interest in learning about other non-pharmacological approaches (e.g., nutrition, recreational/vocational therapy). Members generally preferred webinars or on-line CE courses, and secondarily, lectures/workshops at conferences.  There were also suggestions for more research and funding collaborations with other organizations, such as the AASM with the possibility of developing and testing integrated clinical care models or practice guidelines.  Finally, there were several comments supporting collaborations with other patient organizations to help BSM clinicians learn directly from individuals with hypersomnia. 

I want to thank those who took the time to respond to this challenge. The results indicate that SBSM members are active in the hypersomnia “space”, a space that has traditionally been reserved for sleep physicians and pharmacological treatments.  Moreover, there was an overwhelming interest in educational programs and building connections with other organizations in this area. I will ask the Board of Directors and our committees to consider these findings as we plan for future programs.  Also, please note that we do have a lecture and case presentation on hypersomnia at this year’s BSM Course –

With warm regards,


Jason Ong, Ph.D.
SBSM President