Exploiting sleep and circadian science to develop and test interventions that will improve health.
Main location of work
Why the work is important
Sleep and Circadian Disruption (SCRD), in which the timing of sleep is disrupted, is highly prevalent clinically. It drives more complex and severe mental and physical illness and is relevant in the workplace, for example, in shiftwork. This Theme is uniquely placed to apply novel science and support innovative trials to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with SCRD.
An interdisciplinary research team will be created in Oxford with collaborators in Surrey and Manchester to address sleep and circadian rhythm disorders. We will focus on developing, testing and delivering scalable cost-effective sleep and circadian interventions.
What work will be carried out
- A new fully funded multicentre randomised controlled trial for shiftwork sleep disorder will test new components for complex intervention and new monitoring and outcome measures, which will in turn be applied to future trials.
- Capacity building and pump priming funds will be used to generate pilot data.
- Pilot work supported by pump-priming funds will focus on behavioural therapeutics, chrononutrition, brain stimulation or slow wave sleep enhancement with the aim of developing at least one novel intervention to treat SCRD.
Patient and public involvement, engagement and participation
PPIEP is at the heart of the proposed work. We will co-develop the research with the SCRD community and other stakeholders, recruiting a Patient Participation Group (PPG) to input into the key research questions and study outcome measures. We will work with Vocal, a national centre for excellence in PPIEP, to facilitate closer working with shift-working public contributors, employers, unions and policy makers. A diverse PPIEP Advisory Group will enable us to co-create our PPIEP strategy.
Increasing research capacity and critical mass
This will be facilitated by focusing on providing career development opportunities for clinician researchers specialising in this area and encouraging them to apply for the pump-priming funding that will be available.