Sleep Research

Sleep research is under threat! Help us fund important work in sleep problems in adults and children with disability; sleep apnoea; narcolepsy and sleepwalking.
Renata Riha
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United Kingdom
5 Team Members

Do you or your partner snore or stop breathing at night?

Do you suffer from insomnia?

Do you sleepwalk?

Do you act out your dreams at night and wake up bruised?

Could you have narcolepsy?

We spend a third of our lives asleep - and yet very little is known about sleep itself or  the best ways of treating sleep disorders, like sleep apnoea in Down's Syndrome, managing sleep problems in adults and children with intellectual and physical disability and brain pathways involved in sleep-walking and other sleep disorders.

Sleep research is under threat because of increasing demands on funding resources, coupled with the economic downturn. 

The research unit in Edinburgh is working on many of aspects of sleep disorders. We are one of the most highly cited centres in the world in the field of sleep medicine and have been diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in adults for over 30 years. 

For a list of our achievments, please visit us on:

Each year, less and less money is being given to research overall. In this economic climate, even the best, cutting-edge scientific and research proposals don’t get funded sometimes. So important projects that can immediately change people’s lives for the better either don’t get done or get cut short.

Projects in jeopardy are:

1.  Diagnosing and treating adults with Down's Syndrome who have sleep problems.

We have found that fewer than 1 in 100 people with Down's Syndrome get investigated and treated for this important problem even though 1 in 3 people with Down's Syndrome have sleep apnoea. Treatment could lead to improved daytime function, reduce sleepiness and improve performance.

2.  Teaching and outreach to parents of children with sleep problems, in the context of mental health issues or disability.

There are very few resources in the community to help parents and children with these issues and even fewer for adults with problems and we are working hard to find out the best way to deliver important educational strategies and support.

3.  Developing new ways of diagnosing sleep walking at night.

4.  Assessing brain imaging patterns in people with narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and other sleep problems using MRI.

Your support could help us achieve important treatment goals that could impact immediately on your health, or the health of a family member, loved one, friend or even the person who drives the bus or the train you take to work (you don’t want them falling asleep at the wheel)!

We have set a target, but every little helps!

What will my money be used for?

Funds will be used for:

1.  Patient outreach.

2.  Purchase of equipment for diagnosing sleep breathing problems (one portable piece of equipment costs around £6000)

3.  MRI testing to assess sleep pathways in the brain

Sleep disorders are very common. Up to 1 in 5 of us snores or has breathing pauses at night, with 1 in 20 of us having sleep apnoea. 3 out of 100 adults sleep-walk. We know that long-term shift workers are at increased risk of health problems and sleep apnoea can make dementia worse and possibly increase your chance of getting heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Not all sleep centres deal with the same topics, issues and problems that we do. Our focus is mainly clinical and our results have an immediate impact on people’s well-being – not just locally, but through spreading the word at conferences and writing papers that impact nationally and internationally so that our findings can be adopted by doctors and patients everywhere.

We collaborate with researchers in more basic scientific research fields such as genetics, inflammation and mouse-models which help to unlock exciting new avenues for helping sleep disorder sufferers.

What’s in it for me?


Our research could directly be targeting your sleep problem, a related problem or the problems of someone you know and care about!

Even the smallest donation helps and for those of you who can help a bit more, we extend a small token of appreciation. Results from our work will be available on our website and can be sent directly to all donors as requested.

If you are unable to contribute, please help us spread the word. Sleep is something we do every single day of our lives and bad sleep impacts on us all, individually and on society. Sleep research is important.

Share our campaign with your family and friends. For those of you who might live locally, come and see us at the Edinburgh International Science Festival on April 13th this year:

Thank you!

N.B. When about to hit paypal/credit card button the account name will appear as Renata Riha -  this is done for legal reasons. Rest assured all funds are accounted for and will be used for the stated research

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This campaign ended on May 3, 2014
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    Every little helps! Thank you!

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    We're very grateful - every little helps!

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    Thank you for believing in our campaign! We really appreciate it.

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    Relaxation CD

    A CD of music for sleep or relaxation

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    Silk eye mask

    100% mulberry silk, black eye mask. Designed to totally block out light as if sleeping in total darkness. Good for travel and home.

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    A signed copy of Dr Riha's book on sleep

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