Tuesday, June 4, 2013

SLEEP 2013 Meeting, Baltimore – Day 1 (Monday)

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Monday was the official start of the full conference, beginning with a welcome address by the SRS and AASM at 7:45am (I was NOT excited to get up at 6am today :S). The first of the opening lectures (following the awards ceremony) was on insomnia and it was quite interesting. The speaker did a great job adding a lot of jokes which was helpful early in the morning. Afterwards, I headed to the symposium entitled "Neurobehavioural and Physiological Effects of Sleep Loss in Humans" which focused on the effect of chronic sleep restriction (CSR) in humans. I recognized a lot of the speakers, a few of which I have referenced in my poster!

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{This is the road that led straight up to our hotel on W Franklin Street (about a 20 min walk). We had some crappy weather on Sunday although it wasn't as humid as I expected which was great. Good news is the convention center is very well air conditioned :D}

I had a break in my schedule right after the CSR symposium so I headed to the little market which I'm pretty sure is the only place you can get food in this place (besides the Starbucks where the staff are not very efficient, minimum wait for coffee is about 20 mins, no joke!). They had a chicken stir fry which looked awesome so I got that and a coffee! I don't think coffee really affects me physiologically but psychologically I feel dependent on it with all these early mornings!

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{Messy and delicoius!}

After lunch I attended some lectures at the "Sleep, Circadian Rhythmicity and Metabolism: The Inseparable Triad" symposium followed by the "State of the Art Symposium on Drowsy Driving: Impact of Sleep Deficiency on Real Motor Vehicle Driving Perofrmance and Perception of Drowsiness" which was incredibly interesting. Something upwards of 1,000,000 accidents occur each year in the US related to drowsy driving (that about one every 25 seconds!).

I ended up having to go back to the hotel around 4pm for a nap since we still had to attend a Narcolepsy Symposium put on by a big pharmaceutical company (I didn't want to be dozing in my chair at a narcolepsy seminar!). They served dinner at the symposium around 6pm and it was delicious! We started with a mixed green salad with cheddar cheese crouton and garlic lemon dressing followed by a spinach stuffed chicken breast, roasted tomatoes, brussel sprouts and garlic mashed potatoes. Dessert was some kind of lemon mouse with chocolate ganache which was amazing. It was absolutely worth the price (FREE!).


{It's hard to see here, but they had a stage set up similar to a talk show where the experts discussed issues and audience questions after giving lectures. They had this elaborate white backing and two huge screens on other side (include those rows of silver plates which were weird, I'll never truly understand decor design…). You could tell this symposium was backed by BIG money}



The symposium lectures were quite interesting too, as narcoplepsy is not something I know much about. Throughout the lectures they also asked the audience questions (most of which were aimed at physicians and how they handle certain treatments, etc. so I just guessed – and got most right!). It was definitely worth going to and nice to have Sam and Kazue with me as well. I have to admit, it gets a bit lonely during the day walking around by myself.

It was almost 10pm by the time we got back to the hotel so not much time was left to go through the program for Tuesday's seminars before we needed to go to bed. Tuesday would be another 6am morning!


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