Functional brain activity changes dramatically across the daily sleep-wake cycle. Sleep homeostasis and the internal circadian clock interact to regulate sleep structure and intensity, as well as vigilance, performance and mood. Already minor deviations in the fine-tuned interaction between these major regulatory processes lead to serious sleep-wake disruptions, which are often observed in many psychiatric and neurological disorders, sleep apnea, neurodegenerative diseases and addiction, but also in aging, voluntary sleep restriction, shift work and jet lag. In chronic cases, insufficient sleep itself can cause additional health problems ranging from depressed mood to cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and have negative consequences for public health, including accidents, poor quality of life, as well as reduced educational and occupational performance.
The CRPP Sleep and Health aims at creating an inter-disciplinary, translational research and teaching program, which will lead to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of sleep-wake disorders. This knowledge is indispensable for the development of improved, specific, and personally adjusted treatments of the highly prevalent sleep-wake disorders in Society.