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FRIMED2-FRIPRO forskerprosjekt, medisin og helse

Does sleep duration affect the brain?

Alternative title: Påvirker hvor mye vi sover hjernehelsen?

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Project Number:

325878

Application Type:

Project Period:

2021 - 2025

Location:

There is a worry in society that too little sleep is a pervasive negative factor for somatic, mental and cognitive health, with suggestions that we are suffering an ‘epidemic of sleeplessness'. Reviewing the research on the relationship between sleep duration and the brain, we came to the conclusion that there is as of yet no conclusive evidence showing that short sleep causes poorer brain health. Thus, the ambitious objective of BrainSleep is directly to test the relationship between sleep duration and brain health and to decide to what degree such a relationship may be causal. We will create a database of > 70.000 structural and functional MRIs of the brain from > 60.000 participants, including 5000 longitudinal examinations covering intervals up more than a decade. BrainSleep will use novel approaches to MRI analyses, integrating multiple structural, microstructural and functional measures in the same analyses, yielding biologically more meaningful variables and higher sensitivity. Sleep will be measured in a natural setting, combining standardized self-report measures with objective sleep registrations. To address the problem of causality, we will assess genetic pleiotropy between sleep duration and brain measures and run Mendelian randomization analyses where genetic variation is used as a natural experiment to investigate the causal relations. This will be combined with causal inference methods applied to longitudinal data, where we will test whether changes in sleep duration over time precede or follow changes in brain features, and by scrutinizing effects of a range of somatic and mental health variables which may cause spurious relationships between sleep duration and brain health. The analyses will be enriched by a sample of 200 participants who in addition to structural and functional MRI will undergo repeated polysomnography, allowing us directly to study sleep architecture underlying macro measures of sleep in the large-scale analyses.

There is a worry in society that too little sleep is a pervasive negative factor for somatic, mental and cognitive health, with suggestions that we are suffering an ‘epidemic of sleeplessness'. Reviewing the research on the relationship between sleep duration and the brain, we came to the conclusion that there is as of yet no conclusive evidence showing that short sleep causes poorer brain health. Thus, the ambitious objective of BrainSleep is directly to test the relationship between sleep duration and brain health and to decide to what degree such a relationship may be causal. We will create a database of > 70.000 structural and functional MRIs of the brain from > 60.000 participants, including 5000 longitudinal examinations covering intervals up more than a decade. BrainSleep will use novel approaches to MRI analyses, integrating multiple structural, microstructural and functional measures in the same analyses, yielding biologically more meaningful variables and higher sensitivity. Sleep will be measured in a natural setting, combining standardized self-report measures with objective sleep registrations. To address the problem of causality, we will assess genetic pleiotropy between sleep duration and brain measures and run Mendelian randomization analyses where genetic variation is used as a natural experiment to investigate the causal relations. This will be combined with causal inference methods applied to longitudinal data, where we will test whether changes in sleep duration over time precede or follow changes in brain features, and by scrutinizing effects of a range of somatic and mental health variables which may cause spurious relationships between sleep duration and brain health. The analyses will be enriched by a sample of 200 participants who in addition to structural and functional MRI will undergo repeated polysomnography, allowing us directly to study sleep architecture underlying macro-measures of sleep in the large-scale analyses.

Activity:

FRIMED2-FRIPRO forskerprosjekt, medisin og helse