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."
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.
From the beginning of his scientific career, narcolepsy has been an important research focus, including the biology of the hypocretin system. This work was partly supported by a VENI grant. The hypocretin-system also 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 at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), focusing on new diagnostic methods for sleep and sleep disorders. In June 2017 he was appointed professor at the TU/e, holding the chair ‘Intelligent Systems for Sleep Disorders’
With Paul Reading he is editor of the book ‘Sleep disorders in neurology; a practical approach’. Prof. Overeem has published over 165 peer-reviewed papers. The work is frequently cited, with an h-index of 43 (Web of Science) / 57 (Google Scholar) and an i10-index of 110 (Web of Science).
He likes to spend his free time underwater or in the sky. He is an avid SCUBA diver at the Global Underwater Explorers Tech-1 level, and holds a Private Pilot License.