On Tuesday 15 October 2019, Associate Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy and Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Laura McKillop delivered a research spotlight on the relationship between sleep and ageing at the Parliamentary launch of an important new report from The Physiological Society.
Growing Older, Better is the culmination of a project coordinated by The Physiological Society to understand the integral role of physiology in delivering the Government’s ambition as highlighted in the ‘Ageing Society’ Grand Challenge within the Industrial Strategy. The Society has engaged expertise from both inside its membership and the wider health field.
The report was launched at the Houses of Parliament in an event that included a panel session where attendees discussed the steps required in order to meet the Government’s target of achieving ‘five healthier, more independent years while closing the gap between the richest and poorest’ by 2035. Lord Patel and Stephen Metcalfe MP were among the panelists.
Prof Vyazovskiy and Dr McKillop's spotlight addressed how sleep is affected by ageing, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear:
The fundamental question remains as to whether sleep disturbances in the elderly are related to a reduced function of the circadian clock, impaired homeostatic sleep regulation, or a diminished capacity to generate and sustain deep restorative sleep. We highlighted the necessity to combine human and basic/animal studies in order to achieve a better understanding of what happens to our sleep as we get older. - Prof Vyazovskiy
More information about The Physiological Society report and its key messages can be found here.
The full report can be read here.