National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
Located within the Division of Lung Diseases of the NHLBI, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) was established in 1993 to foster the coordination of sleep and circadian research within NIH and other Federal agencies. Insufficient sleep and under-treatment of sleep disorders is a national health concern that causes a substantial economic burden to the U.S. economy each year due to accidents and lost productivity.
The NCSDR administers sleep research projects, training, and educational awareness programs, and serves as an NIH point-of-contact for Federal agencies and public interest organizations. The Center also participates in research translation and dissemination of scientific sleep and circadian advances to health care professionals, public health officials, and the public. It seeks to fulfill its goal of improving the health of Americans by serving four key functions: research, training, technology transfer, and coordination.
Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency encompass many medical fields, requiring multidisciplinary approaches to identify specific risks to health, develop diagnostic tools, and improve therapies. This research involves a spectrum of experts at every level of study (molecular biologists, geneticists, physiologists, developmental and behavioral scientists), and many areas of medicine (psychiatry, immunology, pediatric, pulmonary, and cardiology).
NCSDR activities include the following:
- NCSDR administers sleep and circadian research projects related to the regulation of sleep and sleep disorders and the etiology and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases.
- Studies to determine how the brain controls breathing during sleep, and the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sleep disordered breathing.
- NCSDR serves a Sleep Research Coordinating Committee made up of program representatives NIH-wide to facilitate the discussion of sleep and circadian research activities and research.
- A Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board consisting of sleep and circadian experts, sleep disorder patients, and Federal officials meets publicly twice each year with NCSDR and NIH sleep and circadian program representatives to discuss sleep and circadian research needs and opportunities.
- NCSDR curates the NIH National Sleep Disorders Research Plan with input from the the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board, trans-NIH Sleep Research Coordinating Committee, and public to highlight selected opportunities for scientific advance.
View funding announcements for Sleep Science and Sleep Disorders. Sign up for updates through the NIH Listserv.
Training and Technology Transfer
Developing new scientists in sleep, circadian biology, and sleep disorders research is a major undertaking. The Center administers sleep and circadian research training and career development programs serving institutions and postdoctoral individuals nationwide.
As part of its efforts to ensure that research advances are utilized by health care providers, the Center has supported the development of medical school sleep disorder curricula and durable educational materials. A Sleep Academic Award (SAA) program – which was conducted in three concurrent cycles from 1996 to 2002 – improved the quality of medical school education on sleep disorders at 20 sites nationwide. A subsequent funding opportunity is supporting research to develop sleep education programs for patients and caregivers.
View the full listing of projects on NIH RePORTER funded through the SAA program.
Professional and Patient Education
The Center seeks to ensure that research results lead to health benefits. It works towards this goal by educating health care professionals about sleep disorders and research findings, and translating sleep health and disorders research findings for patients and their families.
The NHLBI publications and resources for health care professionals summarizing the latest sleep science and clinical care best practices, as well as educational materials that can be shared with patients and their families to help answer some of their questions on sleep and sleep disorders. View the NHLBI Online Catalog.
The NHLBI also has online science-based, plain-language health information on sleep-related Health Topics for patients, caregivers, and the public, including:
- Insomnia (En Español)
- Restless Legs Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea (En Español)
- Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency
- Sleep Studies
The NCSDR serves as point-of-contact at for researchers, professional societies, non-governmental stakeholders (public, private, and nonprofit groups), and other Federal agencies interested in NIH sleep research activities. The Center seeks to facilitate, disseminate, and coordinate these activities as a subject matter expert and encourage cooperation, especially in crosscutting areas. It also seeks to improve communication among scientists, policymakers, and health care professionals.
- National Institutes of Health
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institute of Aging
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- National Cancer Institute
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
- National Eye Institute
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- National Institute of Nursing Research
- Office for Research on Women's Health
- Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
- Bureau of the Census
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/U.S. Department of Transportation
- National Science Foundation
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Researchers say they are closer to solving the mystery of how a good night’s sleep protects against heart disease. In studies using mice, they discovered a previously unknown mechanism between the brain, bone marrow, and blood vessels that appears to protect against the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries—but only when slee...
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