Chronobiology and sleep research theme
Alleviating disrupted sleep and managing circadian timing for improved health outcomes.
Sleep is a major determinant of wellbeing, behaviour and of mental and physical health. The circadian timing system, present in humans and animals, regulates almost all aspects of cell and system physiology. When it is perturbed through illnesses such as dementia and cancers, sleep abnormalities ensue. Circadian rhythm disruption and sleep restriction are features of our modern 24/7 society and we need to manage these better, including as we age and travel.
Research programmes within the Chronobiology and Sleep Research Theme address the function and regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms. Studies to optimise the administration of light and of melatonin inform actions to address the cognitive decline associated with sleep loss and circadian misalignment. Probing datasets for links between genotype and the timing of activities such as food consumption reveals approaches to disease prevention. Developing and validating novel monitoring technologies unravels links between sleep/circadian disturbances, urban environments and health outcomes, and informs interventions.