It is a great honour for me to take over the responsibility of the President of the Asian Sleep Research Society (ASRS) from illustrious colleague Prof Masako Okawa. On behalf of the newly elected Council, I would like to place on record our deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for the outgoing Council for their outstanding contribution to the growth of ASRS. We will continue to seek support and guidance of all Asian sleep scientists and clinicians in all important matters. At the same time, please join me in extending a warm welcome to the newly constituted ASRS Executive Body.|
I had the unique opportunity to serve ASRS in various capacities in the past. When the idea of establishing ASRS in the 90s was conceived by Prof Shojiro Inoue, Prof Liu Shiyi, Prof Mohan Kumar and others, I was just beginning my career in neuroscience and sleep medicine was in its infancy. Indeed, it is a great experience to witness the role played by ASRS since its inception in 1994. I have attended almost all the ASRS Congresses. It has been a great experience to interact with peers, investigators, young researchers and old friends in these meetings. Now we will be meeting every two years, which is a welcome change for both organizers and participants.
Few months back we just concluded the 7th ASRS Congress in Taipei, organized by Dr. Ning-Hung Chen and his colleagues. I take this opportunity to congratulate him and his colleagues for organizing the outstanding scientific sessions and social events during the Congress.
One of the outcomes of historical ASRS Governing Council meeting in Taipei on November 30, 2012, is ASRS Executive Committee restructure. The post of treasurer, chair-scientific committee and the past president were abolished. In lieu of three post of vice-presidents are created with independent portfolio (scientific, educational and public services) for better functioning of ASRS.
Sleep is important for our health and life. Negative health outcome of poor sleep is making a dent in our modern society. Thus, the importance of sleep has to be inducted early in school curriculum. Our emphasis should be to spread the message that sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. In this direction amongst us, the activities of Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine for sleep education are praiseworthy and should be a source of inspiration to us.
The scope of sleep medicine is expanding day by day. At the same time, we do not have adequate number of sleep physicians, sleep technologists and sleep scientists in many Asian countries. It is important to impart training to doctors and technologist to meet this growing demand. Every Asian country should have a national institute for integrative sleep medicine to create the expertise required for the growth of this science.
Asia is the largest continent in the world with the largest population. The strength of ASRS lies with its member societies. The ASRS needs to create task forces to explore the possibility of helping those Asian countries where sleep physicians and sleep scientists are in less number. There are no formal sleep societies in many of these countries, although some individuals are practicing sleep medicine.
The First Summit of Asia Oceania Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine was organized in the beautiful island of Okinawa, supported by ASRS and Japan Society for Promotion of Science immediately after the 6th ASRS Congress in Kyoto. The leaders of the constituent societies of ASRS sat on a round table to discuss the status of sleep medicine in respective countries. The proceeding of the meeting has been summarized beautifully and worth reading (Cherasse 2010). Such round table discussions should become a regular feature of ASRS activities along with Congresses. The leaders of different societies should get together to make policies for promotion of sleep medicine in Asian countries. It is time again for the leaders to sit together on relaxed mood to plan for the future growth of sleep medicine during the forthcoming ASRS Congress in India. The Indian Society for Sleep Research is organizing the 8th ASRS Congress in Kerala, India during September 19-22, 2014. I take this opportunity to invite you all to Kerala in large number for a culinary, yogic and spiritual voyage where you can rediscover your inner self.
See you all in Kerala (The Godís own country), India in September 2014.