Organisation profile

Organisational unit profile

Sleep is important for brain function, performance and health. Although the exact mechanism by which sleep supports the brain is still subject of research and debate, sleep is generally thought to facilitate neuronal recovery, maintenance, and plasticity. Yet, chronically insufficient sleep is a widespread and serious problem in our society. A large number of people experiences sleep loss on a regular basis due to our modern around-the-clock lifestyle, high work pressure, and stress. Repeated sleep loss may have serious repercussions for health and well-being. Particularly, chronically insufficient sleep appears to play an important role in the development of cognitive disorders and psychiatric disorders such as depression.

The research of the Meerlo lab focuses on the importance of sleep and the consequences of sleep loss. The work includes: 1) comparative studies on the regulation and function of sleep in different species of mammals and birds; 2) studies on sleep as a recovery process that supports neuronal plasticity and brain function, including memory formation; and 3) studies on the neurobiological and neuroendocrine consequences of chronically disrupted or restricted sleep, with special emphasis on systems that are involved in stress and have been implicated in mood disorders and cognitive disturbances.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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