The National Institutes of Health recently released the 2011 NIH Sleep Disorders Research Plan. The plan identifies research opportunities to be pursued over the next three to five years in order to spur new approaches to the prevention and treatment of sleep disorders.

The new plan expands upon previous and current research programs identified in the 1996 and 2003 plans. In addition it:

  • Highlights opportunities to foster a continued dialogue with research communities, which will help promote innovative approaches to scientific investigations.
  • Addresses training needs for investigators and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration to accelerate scientific discovery and bring therapies to the community more rapidly while improving strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep and circadian disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea.
  • Encourages a stronger emphasis on understanding the genetics behind sleep as well as other factors that contribute to sleep disorders and disturbances, such as lifestyle, age, and gender differences.

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