Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Society
The work culture of long hours, shift work, and long-haul flights all contribute to SCRD across most sectors of society. It has been suggested that the adult population sleeps on average 1-2 hours less every night compared to the 1960s, and for teenagers, sleep loss may be much greater. However, the evidence to support this is scarce. We will use the best available data to establish recent historical changes in sleep patterns.
In addition, the rapidly changing and conflicting light-dark exposure and activity-rest behaviour that shift workers experience results in symptoms similar to those of jet-lag.
We know that this imposed social structure is in conflict with our basic biology and suboptimal for our health. We aim to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that lead to SCRD and to develop educational resources to counteract the effects of societal demands.