Published: 26 February 2014

Alf Adams lecture unravels the mysteries of sleep

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk explored ‘The Science and Secrets of Sleep’ at prestigious annual event celebrating Surrey’s groundbreaking research.

The University of Surrey’s pioneering sleep research took centre stage for the third annual Alf Adams Lecture held in honour of the University’s Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Physics.

The lecture, held at British Medical Association House in London, was delivered by Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, Professor of Sleep and Physiology, Director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre and Director of Sleep Wake Research at the Surrey Clinical Research Centre. Professor Dijk took the audience on a journey of discovery that explored the profound impact of sleep and biological rhythms on all aspects of our physiology and behaviour.

Read about some of Surrey’s latest sleep research.

The Alf Adams Lecture Series was introduced in 2012 in honour of the University’s Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Physics, best-known for his work on strained quantum well lasers that made CD and DVD technology possible. The series seeks to showcase some of Surrey’s most intriguing studies, and celebrate our academics’ spirit of curiosity and drive to improve the world in which we live.

Professor Adams delivered the inaugural lecture, ‘Semiconductor Lasers Take the Strain’. Last year, space research was under the spotlight with small satellite pioneer Sir Martin Sweeting’s lecture, ‘Changing the Economies of Space’.

Sleep research at Surrey

Our sleep studies are published in high impact academic journals, and our academics frequently appear on television and feature in national and international newspapers. Surrey’s sleep research covers fascinating areas, including:

  • The regulation of human sleep by circadian rhythmicity (our internal body clock)
  • The effects of light on sleep, performance and circadian rhythms
  • Ageing, sleep and cognition
  • The causes, consequences and treatment of circadian rhythm disorders as experienced by shift workers, transmeridian air travellers, blind people and older people
  • The effects of insufficient sleep on cognition, mood and metabolism
  • The effects of mistimed sleep and insufficient sleep on patterns of gene expression
  • The investigation of new medicines to help you sleep (hypnotics) or to stay awake (wake promoting compounds) as counter measures in insomnia, shift work and jet lag

Share what you've read?