A quiet mind, slow heart rate, falls in body temperature, and rises in melatonin production all are essential ingredients to the recipe of sleep. Our population on a whole sleeps less hours a night than ever before. Because of this, sleep has become one of the hottest topics of research over the past decade.

This year, at Discover Brigham, the session on sleep medicine will feature speakers including Charles Czeisler, MD,PhD, Susan Redline, MD and Frank Scheer, PhD. These experts will address a variety of topics including circadian metabolic disorders, sleep apnea, public health concerns, patient-centered outcomes and more.

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian disorders has conducted research on a plethora of topics; including, how the use of electronic readers at night are detrimental to falling asleep, why it is so beneficial for athletes to take a nap on game day, sleep deficiency in astronauts using hypnotics and more.

“Many people read things to help them fall asleep. They probably don’t realize that this technology is actually making it less likely to feel sleepy,” said Czeisler in a recent interview.

Frank Scheer, who is also a member of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, is interested in how the body’s internal workings change over the course of the day, and how this may influence our susceptibility to disease. He is a medical chronobiologist focusing on metabolism, cardiovascular and pulmonary effects. He has found that circadian disruption has adverse effects on our metabolism, lepton and blood pressure, which increases the risks for diabetes and weight gain. He has found that earlier meal times help assist in weight loss and having your main meal before 3 helps the body metabolize best.

Lastly, Susan Redline, Peter C. Farrell Professor of Sleep Medicine, research focuses on epidemiological studies of sleep disorders including the roles genetics play and early life development factors. She also looks closely on epidemiological and clinical trials that focus on understanding the health outcomes of sleep disorders and how interventions can improve the health of patients.

These researchers will give us a better look on why we should care about how many hours of Zzz’s we are getting and how important sleep and sleep research really is.


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View the Sleep Medicine Session here.