In 1961, a small group of sleep researchers decided to meet to share ideas and abstracts, and founded the organization that eventually became the Sleep Research Society. In the beginning, there were no officers, and the society did not have a formal name.

The first central communicator for the group was Joe Kamiya, the Secretary-Treasurer, who was appointed in late 1962. Two years later, this society of scientists adopted the name Association for the Psychophysiological Study of Sleep (APSS).

Members made many breakthroughs in sleep and sleep medicine in the decades following the society’s founding. Distinguished scientists including Charles Fisher, Roger Broughton, Elliot Weitzman and Al Rechtschaffen led the APSS during this period. Advancements include the discovery of sleep architecture, the understanding of REM sleep and its relationship to the mind and dreaming and the development of new clinical approaches to sleep disorders. These discoveries were often published in an annual publication of research abstracts called Sleep Research, which Michael Chase founded in 1972.

The society adopted its current name, the Sleep Research Society, in the 1980s. The previous acronym wasn’t completely abandoned: the Sleep Research Society’s partnership with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is named the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, or the APSS. The APSS hosts the annual SLEEP meeting, where researchers from around the world share their research abstracts.

The Sleep Research Society and the field of sleep research continue to enjoy immense growth and increased visibility. SRS Membership now consists of more than 1,400 researchers, ranging from promising young trainees to accomplished senior-level professors. Sleep research has become a multidisciplinary effort, encompassing researchers from psychology, pharmacology, neuroanatomy and beyond.

Since the founding of the Association for the Psychophysiological Study of Sleep, many diverse individuals have held the position that is now the president of the Sleep Research Society.

Name Term
Joe Kamiya, PhD (Secretary/Treasurer) 1962-1966
Charles Fisher, MD (Coordinating Secretary)
David Foulkes, PhD (Executive Secretary)
Anthony Kales, MD (Coodinating Secretary)
G. Vernon Pegram, PhD (Executive Secretary)
Roger Broughton, MD, PhD (Coordinating Secretary)
Robert N. Emde, MD (Executive Secretary)
John Karacan (Coordinating Secretary)
Elliot D. Weitzman, MD (Executive Secretary)
Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD (Coordinating Secretary)
Thomas Roth, PhD (Executive Secretary)
Gerald Vogel, MD (Coordinating Secretary)
Peter Hauri (Executive Secretary)
Howard P. Roffwarg, MD 1985-1987
Michael H. Chase, PhD 1988-1990
Robert W. McCarley, MD 1991-1992
Ronald M. Harper, PhD 1992-1993
Jerome Siegel, PhD 1993-1994
Thomas Roth, PhD 1994-1995
Adrian R. Morrison, PhD, DVM 1995-1996
J. Christian Gillin, MD 1996-1997
Wallace B. Mendelson, MD 1997-1998
Timothy A. Roehrs, PhD 1998-1999
Mary A. Carskadon, PhD 1999-2000
Ralph Lydic, PhD 2000-2001
David F. Dinges, PhD 2001-2002
Ruth M. Benca, MD, PhD 2002-2003
Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD 2003-2004
Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD 2004-2005
Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD 2005-2006
Mark R. Opp, PhD 2006-2007
Eric A. Nofzinger, MD 2007-2008
Michael V. Vitiello, PhD 2008-2009
Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD 2009-2010
James K. Walsh, PhD 2010-2011
Phyllis C. Zee, PhD 2011-2012
Ronald S. Szymusiak, PhD 2012-2013
Janet M. Mullington, PhD 2013-2014
Allan I. Pack, MBChB, PhD 2014-2016
Sean P.A. Drummond, PhD 2016-2018
Andrew D. Krystal, MD 2018-2020
H. Craig Heller, PhD 2020-2022

There is a rich history behind the study of sleep research. SRS members have access to classic papers that gave rise to the field of sleep medicine, and view abstracts from the very first meeting of the Association for the Psychophysical Study of Sleep.

Historical papers can only be accessed from your member account.

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Not a member and want to explore the historical papers? Become a member today.

Many researchers have made important impacts on the development of the field of sleep and circadian research. Dr. Jerry Siegel graciously shares the following videos on the discovery of REM sleep and other recordings of sleep research pioneers. View the full list

Conversations With Our Founders

The Sleep Research Society is proud to present a series of interviews with pioneers in the field of sleep research. These interviews serve to document the rich history of the field.

Many of the interviews in the Conversations With Our Founders series were recorded at SLEEP 2010 in San Antonio, where the SRS celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Special thanks go to members of the 50th Anniversary Task Force, especially Martica Hall, PhD; Gina Poe, PhD and Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD, Chair, for spearheading the Conversations With Our Founders project.