Lev Tankelevitch

Sleep and Health

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 2018

In 2018 I was awarded the Nuffield Foundation Flowers Fellowship to work as a research fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) — “Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public-policy issues related to science and technology.” Over six months, I produced a set of briefings summarising the academic research on sleep, circadian rhythm, and sleep deprivation and its implications for health, work, education, and technology policy. For this project, I conducted a review of academic and grey literature and interviewed over 40 experts and stakeholders across academia, government, industry, and the third sector. Before publication, briefings were peer reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of external experts. Publications were officially launched at a one-day Parliamentary seminar on sleep and health, featuring speakers from academia, industry, and government.

POSTnote 585: Sleep and Health introduces the science of sleep and circadian rhythm and describes their impact on performance, and physical and mental health. It summarises the evidence base for sleep deprivation across demographics, and describes policy issues in the context of public and occupational health, education, road safety, and consumer technology.

POSTnote 586: Shift Work, Sleep, and Health focuses on the nature and implications of sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in shift workers, in sectors such as healthcare and transportation, and describes potential interventions and management strategies.

POSTbrief 029: Sleep and Long-term Health summarises the evidence base around the implications of sleep and circadian rhythm disruption for long-term health, in areas including mental health, neurodegenerative diseases, cardio-metabolic conditions, and cancer.