During July through October, the SRS Advocacy Task Force and additional SRS members met with representatives from nine NIH Institutes interested in sleep and circadian rhythms research, as well as representatives from the All-of-Us program, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the Veterans Affairs (VA). The agencies were unanimously very enthusiastic about sleep and circadian research. Some, like National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) shared that sleep is at the center of their new strategic areas of interest, and National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) continue to focus on sleep and biological rhythms as critical areas of interest for disease interventions and management. NINDS and NIMH shared enthusiasm for using the brain initiative technology developments for furthering understanding of sleep and circadian mechanisms pertaining to nonrestorative sleep. Opportunities with the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence were shared by NIAAA.
Prominent overarching themes discussed throughout our visits included (1) wearable technology and the need for a consensus statement on wearables, given the myriad of options and limited validation studies; (2) the need for biomarkers of sleep deficiency and sleep health; (3) multicenter trials in sleep and circadian medicine; and (4) pipeline development of the next generation of sleep and circadian scientists.
Ruth Benca, MD, PhD – Advocacy Task Force Chair
Janet M. Mullington, PhD – Advocacy Task Force Vice Chair