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Psychiatric illness and poor sleep have a profound impact upon the quality of life of sufferers, their families and caregivers, and markedly impair health and productivity. Psychiatric disorders affect 16.7 million people in the UK, account for over 15% of the disease burden, and have associated costs estimated in England as over £77 billion/year. On their own, the psychoses (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) confer huge health, societal and economic costs. Psychoses affect over 8 million Europeans and cost 93 billion Euros per year; insomnia affects 29 million Europeans and costs 35 billion Euros. It is important to stress that these conditions do not only impair mental and emotional well-being, but are linked to substantially impaired physical health and raised mortality rates.

The basis for the co-occurrence of sleep and circadian rhythm disruption (SCRD) and psychosis is unclear but it likely involves SCRD (i) playing a contributory causal role; (ii) sharing aetiological components with psychoses; (iii) being secondary to the illness or its treatment. A major goal of the SCNi is to address the critical issue about causal relationships between SCRD and severe psychiatric disorder, allowing us to determine the appropriate next steps for prevention and intervention. To do this we will establish cohorts and experimental groups of subjects, in whom a range of epidemiological, psychological, physiological and neuroscientific investigations will be conducted. 

Our Team

Selected publications

Insomnia and hallucinations in the general population: Findings from the 2000 and 2007 British Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys

B. Sheaves, P.E Bebbington, G.M. Goodwin, P.J. Harrison, C.A. Espie, R.G. Foster, & D. Freeman (2016) Psychiatry Res, 241, 141-146

Insomnia, Nightmares, and Chronotype as Markers of Risk for Severe Mental Illness: Results from a Student Population

B Sheaves, K Porcheret, A Tsanas, C.A. Espie, R. G. Foster, D. Freeman, P. J. Harrison, K. Wulff & G.M. Goodwin (2016) Sleep 

For more archived publications click here