Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders affect more than 10% of the population. Effective treatments are available for some, whereas the cause and cure for others remain unknown. Sleep disorders include: Sleep apnea (periodic interruption of breathing); Insomnia; Parasomnias; REM; Narcolepsy.

Study shows new evidence of age-related decline in the brain's master circadian clock

A new study of the brain's master circadian clock — known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN — reveals that a key pattern of rhythmic neural activity begins to decline by middle age. The study, whose senior author is UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, may have implications for the large number of older people who have difficulty sleeping and adjusting to time changes.

Sleep-Deprived Rats Take "Brain Naps"

Christopher Colwell, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute, was interviewed April 28 by Agence France Press and April 29 by National Public Radio's “Talk of The Nation” and USA Today about research showing that neurons in the brains of sleep-deprived rats can enter a sleeplike state even when the rats are awake.

Nap versus Coffee: Sleeping and Stimulating Our Way to Greater Productivity

Jerome Siegel, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute and the Veterans Administration hospital, was featured in a Sept. 15 KPCC Larry Mantle Show segment on whether napping or drinking coffee is better for maintaining one’s productivity during the day.

Having trouble sleeping?

Review and Approval
Renewal Date: 
2010, January 14

Aging: Sleep and Inflammatory Mechanisms in Depression Prevention

Project summary

Depression in the elderly is a major public health concern. Indeed, as the population ages in high-income countries, depression is projected to increase by 2030 to a position of the greatest contributor to illness burden. Moreover, because elderly persons with depression often do not receive diagnosis and treatment, and only about one-third of depressed older adults achieve remission using current treatment approaches, over two-thirds of the disease burden remains intact leading to staggering costs in the health care sector. The present study is highly significant by being the first study, to our knowledge, to focus on the prevention of depression in community dwelling older adults who have a history of depression, and by targeting sleep disturbance, a modifiable risk factor to prevent depression recurrence.