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17 July 2006 PR 06/88

Loughborough to take part in major national sleep research programme

A £2 million national programme to improve sleep quality for older people will be carried out with help from Loughborough University.

The project has attracted the largest single investment in sleep research ever made by a UK research council.

Costing £2.3 million, the four-year programme will involve a number of studies to help older people sleep better. It will be carried out by a consortium of researchers from the Universities of Loughborough, Surrey, London and Bath.

Professor Kevin Morgan, of the Department of Human Sciences at Loughborough University, who will be involved in the project, said: “Satisfactory sleep quality is a fundamental pre-requisite for the maintenance of active, successful and healthy ageing and is particularly vulnerable during periods of illness or stress.

“This ambitious programme of research will combine expertise in sociology, psychology, medicine, biology and engineering, and stands to make a substantial difference in an area of international significance.”

As well as taking part in other aspects of the project, Professor Morgan will manage a large controlled trial of self-help for sleep disturbances among people with chronic health problems. This will be done in collaboration with the North Nottinghamshire NHS Health Community.

The national sleep research programme will be funded under the ‘New Dynamics of Ageing’ initiative run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council.


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Notes to editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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