"Both as a physician and a researcher I specialize in sleep disorders.


Sleep, to me, is very enjoyable. One needs sleep to function properly, it is an essential body function. A good night's sleep is crucial for recovery, and of importance for the way one's memory is recorded... In other words, sleep is here for a reason.

Given the fact that we sleep for about 1/3 of our lives, it is not surprising that sleep disorders are very common and that they can pose a huge burden on the quality of life of patients."


Short research biography

Prof.dr. Sebastiaan Overeem is a clinical somnologist and neuroscientist. He graduated from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and received his PhD with honors in 2003, on a thesis called 'Narcolepsy, from clinical entity to hypocretin deficiency'. Part of his thesis work was performed at the Center for Narcolepsy Research at Stanford University, where he participated in the first hypocretin studies in patients with narcolepsy. In 2004, he received his MD (cum laude), also at the University of Leiden. Since his PhD-work, he has never left the sleep field.


Over the last 15 years, narcolepsy was an important research focus, including the neurophysiology of cataplexy and the biology of the hypocretin system, partly supported by a VENI grant. The hypocretin-system formed the initial connecting link to sleep in Parkinson’s disease, when it was shown that hypocretin defects are present in Parkinson’s as a cause of sleep disturbances. This work led to a research line on sleep disorders in neurodegenerative disease, for which he received a VIDI research grant.


His clinical work as a sleep medicine specialist takes place at the Center for Sleep Medicine Kempenhaeghe, the largest dedicated sleep center in the Netherlands. Between 2005 and 2015 he was junior Principal Investigator at the department of Neurology at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Since 2015, he is senior researcher in the departments Industrial Design and Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology, focusing at new diagnostic methods for sleep and sleep disorders.


With Paul Reading he is editor of the book ‘Sleep Disorders in Neurology; a Practical Approach’. Dr. Overeem has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers. The work is frequently cited, with an h-index of 33 (Web of Science) / 45 (Google Scholar), and an i10-index of 94 (Web of Science) / 113 (Google Scholar).