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Foreword

      In the highly tumultuous decade of the 1910s, the year 1912 was rather uneventful.
      The war in Europe was to start in 2 years. The ocean liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank. It would be another 16 years before Fleming would discover penicillin and 17 more until the Black Thursday collapse of the stock market ushered in the Great Depression. In the midst of all these historic events, 1912 stood alone in its relative obscurity.
      It was, nonetheless, in this transitory year of 1912 that the Clinics of North America began, with the publication of its Surgical Clinics.
      A physician reading the Clinics that year knew close to nothing about sleep, certainly very little about insomnia, and not much, if at all, about circadian rhythmicity. Snoring was merely an “indelicate” subject, and psychiatrists everywhere were attempting to unravel the mysteries of dreaming even as they tried to comprehend the meaning of its fantasies. The dangers of sleep apnea had yet to be described.
      Since then, the Clinics has expanded to include 60 titles, each with a worldwide distribution. The Sleep Medicine Clinics is the latest addition to this series.
      This premiere issue on excessive sleepiness will be followed by issues on sleep in the elderly, insomnia, and sleep apnea in this initial year of the Sleep Medicine Clinics. Future issues will feature pediatric and adolescent sleep, sleep among women, parasomnias, circadian rhythms, forensic sleep medicine, cardiovascular disorders, endocrine diseases, and much more.
      It will take another 94 years before the Sleep Medicine Clinics becomes as seasoned and revered as its surgical counterpart. We expect to have covered the breadth and width of sleep medicine several times over by then.
      Welcome to the Sleep Medicine Clinics.