Development of the Sleep SIG

by Dawn Dore-Sites, Ph.D., and Lauren Daniel, Ph.D.

The Sleep SIG was formed in 2017 to increase communication and collaboration among researchers and clinicians interested in sleep problems in children and adolescents. Interest was sparked after conversations at the biannual pediatric sleep meeting when discussion focused upon limited opportunities for sleep professionals to collaborate in professional organizations outside of those exclusively focused on sleep.

Kelli Harford (Emory) initiated interest in the SIG and quickly recruited several SPP members including Dawn Dore-Stites (Michigan Medicine) as co-chair and Lauren Daniel (Rutgers) as secretary. All members viewed student representation as critical and Kimberly Klages (University of Memphis) soon joined as trainee representative. Our first meeting was held at SPPAC in Orlando in 2018.

At that meeting, focus was on assessment of interests of members. Surveys were collected but most valuably, conversations occurred between student members and those more established in the field. Based on these conversations, focal areas in the short term include: Increasing mechanisms to collaborate with others on complex cases; development of a website to consolidate resources and disseminate information related to the newly revised diplomate in behavioral sleep medicine certification.

Beyond increasing communication among sleep professionals, we also aim to communicate the importance of sleep in the health of typically developing pediatric patients as well as those with chronic illness. This will be done through focusing on advocacy and spreading the word about the importance of a good night’s sleep for all!

We are aiming to maintain the momentum in 2019 through our meeting at SPPAC in New Orleans and plan on initiating a poster award for trainees and possibly early career professionals. Information regarding our SIG can be found at our website.