New sleep labs to find answers to human performance

4 March 2013

Researchers at a new sleep research centre in Adelaide will help develop life-saving solutions for workplace accidents, improve sporting performance in athletes and answer how sleep affects human performance.

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education, Sharon Bird, today officially opened the Appleton Institute Sleep Research Centre.

The Appleton Institute, funded by and part of Central Queensland University, will undertake high quality research on sleep, fatigue and human performance that will be applied to industry, sport and the workplace.

“This important research has potential to save lives in the workplace, improve sporting performance in athletes and answer other questions about how human performance is affected by sleep and fatigue,” Ms Bird said.

“The 30-person research team based at the Institute will be led by renowned fatigue and human factors expert, Professor Drew Dawson.

“A key part of the new institute is the highly capable and skilled multi-disciplinary team which will support the research efforts.

“The team of researchers covers a range of scientific disciplines and will be able to achieve better results than they could achieve individually.”

The new Institute features a state-of-the-art laboratory with a six-bed facility with sleep isolation capability. It also features a rail and road simulation laboratory for applied cognitive-behavioural human factors research.

The Institute forms part of the CQUniversity’s new Distance Education Study Centre, providing support for students who are located in the Adelaide region.

The Appleton Institute is currently receiving funding of $674,000 from the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council for two research projects on sleep and cognitive performance, and disaster preparedness.