Background: Acknowledging sleep health as a key marker of overall health and the adoption of a systems approach to its study, promotion, and amelioration led to major developments in sleep research. Sleep is recognised as a proxy of health rather than the mere expression of symptoms and disorders. The adoption of a bioecological model understands sleep as socially patterned, creating opportunities for broader scale public health interventions that contemplate individual and social determinants.
Primary aim(s): The use of technology to entrain cycles of light-darkness and improvements of sleep health is yet to be addressed in the literature. The main objective of the project is to explore the use of virtual reality scenarios as a pathway to mimic naturally occurring environmental sleep cues as a pathway to improvements in sleep health.
Planned research methods and training provided:
Training on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, multivariate longitudinal analysis, such as structural equation modelling, latent variable models, multi-levelling modelling, latent growth modelling will be required.
Objectives / project plan:
Year 1: Summarise the findings of previous research on the impacts of light projected by technological devices on sleep health. The review considers sleep health as a multidimensional concept and potential impairments in broad outcomes.
Year 2: To study the potential of virtual reality to simulate distinct environmental conditions and the impact of lighting conditions on sleep health
Year 3: To explore the incremental validity of virtual immersive experiences to trigger physiological responses using eye-tracking and actigraphy.