Human Sleep

Healthy sleep is vital to an individual's well-being, productivity, and long-term health. SRI Biosciences researchers perform sleep research studies of common sleep disorders and investigate the causes of sleep disruption at the molecular and neurological level.

The Human Sleep Research Program in SRI's Center for Health Sciences conducts comprehensive research on brain structure and function. For the National Institutes of Health and other clients, SRI researchers use cognitive tests, electroencephalography measures, and innovative magnetic resonance imaging techniques. For medical device developers, SRI also conducts Food and Drug Administration 510(k) trials.

Sleep research in the Center for Neuroscience is conducted to create new insomnia treatments for sleep disturbances related to shift work, jet lag, age, and fatigue. Researchers also work toward finding narcolepsy treatments. A discovery by this group elucidated the relationship between the hypocretin/orexin system and sleep disorders. SRI also announced a promising new treatment for narcolepsy.


brain scan

SRI sleep researchers are working to discover and develop new treatments for narcoleptic patients.

glowing blue neuron

SRI takes an integrated approach to understand the systems that control sleep and wakefulness.

group of teens sitting together on the grass

SRI’s Sleep Research Laboratory in Menlo Park, California is currently recruiting for this study.

man lying awake with his head on a pillow

Lack of sleep can lead to a range of cognitive, attention, and emotional deficits. SRI and its partner have made a thorough study of its effects on the brain.

Topics: Human Sleep
scientist working at a computer

SRI is investigating novel methods and treatments to improve cognitive deficits caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

middle-aged woman relaxing on bed

Sleep complaints are common during the transition to menopause, yet we have little understanding of what drives this increase in sleep disturbance and how best to treat it. SRI researchers are investigating sleep quality in women who have begun to go through menopause.

Press Releases

brain scan

SRI neuroscientists have found that a form of baclofen, a drug used to treat muscle spasticity, works better at treating narcolepsy than the best drug currently available when tested in mice.

Findings point to a biochemical and physiological explanation of how sleep need, which gradually builds up during wakefulness, is dissipated during sleep.

Joseph Rogers

In his career, Rogers has focused on age-related neurologic diseases. He is best known for showing that inflammatory responses occur in almost all major age-related brain disorders and cause substantial damage, with his seminal paper in the area receiving nearly 1,200 citations to date.

Gary Swang, director of SRI International's Center for Health Sciences

Gary E. Swan, Ph.D., director of SRI International's Center for Health Sciences, has been elected by the membership of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) as its president-elect and will serve as president in 2012.

Two papers co-authored by SRI researchers have been highlighted in the “Neurobiology Select” section of Cell, a scientific journal.

An SRI International research team, led by Dmitry Gerashchenko and Thomas Kilduff, has identified the first example of neurons that are activated in the cerebral cortex during slow wave sleep (SWS).

Topics: Human Sleep

SRI In the News

SRI Biosciences researcher Sarah Wurts Black describes the development of a model that offers a new approach to studying narcolepsy and exploring potential therapies.

brain scan image

SRI researchers think they may have stumbled onto a way to refine a drug that can treat narcolepsy more effectively, and it has been around for 50 years.

Neuroscientists at research and drug discovery and development firm SRI International have found that a form of baclofen, a drug used to treat muscle spasticity, works better at treating narcolepsy than the best drug currently available when tested in mice.


Compelling evidence indicates that sleep can facilitate the off-line consolidation of declarative, perceptual, emotional and procedural memories. Here we assessed the sleep-related off-line consolidation of motor skills in 13 young primary insomniacs (23.31±2.5 yrs) compared to 13 healthy sleepers...

We investigated cardiac vagal and sympathetic activity in 13 young primary insomniacs (PI; 24.4 ± 1.6 years) and 14 good sleepers (GS; 23.3 ± 2.5 years) during nocturnal sleep.

The aim of this study was to determine the role of personality factors in the development of DSM-IV insomnia coincident with perimenopause.

Topics: Human Sleep

To test the hypothesis that less functional impairment results from HcrtR antagonist-induced sleep, we evaluated the performance of rats in the Morris Water Maze in the presence of ALM vs. ZOL.

To enable a broader and longer-term view of the hippocampal activity across behavioral states, we have utilized a combination of methodologies that collectively enable time-lapse imaging of CA1 neuronal calcium dynamics in behaving mice over periods of many weeks.

we report preliminary data characterizing longitudinal changes in activity and core body temperature (Tb) across disease progression.