Project area or title
Diagnosing and ameliorating sleep problems affecting mental health, wellbeing, and quality of life in the elderly population
Many older adults experience sleep problems which negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing. They experience increased feelings of loneliness, lower mood, and symptoms of anxiety. They report lower life satisfaction and a reduced ability to productively function in society and interact and empathise with others. These experiences have been linked to brain atrophy and cerebrovascular changes that are associated with cognitive and emotional dysfunctions. The main objective for this project is to gain multilevel understanding of the mechanisms through which various sleep disruptions affect mental health, wellbeing, and quality of life in older adults. To these means, we will employ advanced MRI techniques to measure structural and functional connectivity, regional brain changes, and cerebrovascular dysfunctions, together with measures of loneliness, mental health (depression, anxiety, stress), wellbeing, empathy, and psychosocial functioning. Further studies will have the ambition to examine the relationship between sleep hygiene practices and sleep problems associated with mental health and wellbeing, and to investigate whether sleep hygiene interventions can positively impact sleep quality, mental health, wellbeing, empathy, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life in older adults. The supervision team will offer complimentary expertise in the areas of advanced MRI, age- and sleep-related brain and cognitive changes, mental health, wellbeing, empathy, psychosocial functioning, and the study of associations between sleep and health, including treatment development.
Common Mental Health (covering anxiety, depression)
University of Birmingham