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I lead multiple projects exploring sleep as a predictor for transitions to formal care as well as gaining a better understanding of how sleep changes with advancing age for New Zealanders. These projects are being conducted 2018-2021 and are funded by an Emerging Researcher grant (Health Research Council) and a Lotteries Health Post Doctoral Fellowship.
I am a co-investigator on the Ageing Well through Eating, Sleeping, Socialising and Mobility (AWESSoM) programme of research funded via a National Science Challenge Ageing Well grant (2019-2024). Led by Professor Ngaire Kerse (University of Auckland), this programme integrates multiple collaborators and projects across population groups to maximise independence and push back the threshold of disability.
I am also involved with a COVID-19 sleep and wellbeing study arising from the pandemic situation. Led by Associate Professor Mirjam Munch, this project explores the impact of Alert Level 4 and 3 restrictions on the sleep and wellbeing of people living in NZ.
I have a background in psychology and clinical sleep medicine. My research focuses on sleep across the lifespan and the associations between mental health conditions on sleep. I have a particular interest in the sleep of older people, people with dementia and their family carers and have experience with both quatitative and qualitative methodologies. I lead projects within the Sleep in Aging and Dementia Programme at the Sleep/Wake Research Centre (https://www.sleepwake.ac.nz/projects/sleep-in-aging-and-dementia/) and am also involved with projects and resources associated with sleep and welbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic (https://www.sleepwake.ac.nz/what-we-do/covid-19-resources/).
Sleep as a component of healthy ageing
Impact of sleep problems on people with dementia and their family carers
Role of sleep and dreaming in memory consolidation and cognitive functioning
Impact of sleep problems of mental health
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social restrictions on sleep and wellbeing
Health and Well-being
Field of research codes
Aged Health Care (111702): Care for Disabled (111703):
Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102):
Family Care (111707): Health Promotion (111712): Medical And Health Sciences (110000):
Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences (179900): Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis (170110): Psychology (170100): Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (170000):
Public Health and Health Services (111700)
Project Title: The Role of Sleep in Healthy Ageing and Living well with Dementia
Date Range: 2018 - 2021
Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand
2018 Assisting with writing course material for Massey University paper: Sleep Health and Performance
2017-17 Thesis supervision: Gunther, S (2017). Factors contributing to lifelong learning for support workers who have completed a National Certificate Mental Health and Addiction Support programme. Master of Professional Practice, Whitireia.
2017 Invited Presentation for 3rd year NZ College of Massage students: Critical appraisal and research methods.
2016 Invited Presentation for Primary Care and General Practice students, University of Otago, Wellington, NZ: Sleep management with ageing.
2014 Invited Presentation for PHARMAC’s Sleep management day: Sleep of the older adult.
2012 & 14 Invited presentation for post graduate diploma and medical technology students. University of Otago, Wellington, NZ: Sleep with ageing and dementia
2012 Continuing Medical Education event for General Practitioners. Wellington, NZ: Improving sleep for people with dementia and their carers.
2011-12 Postgraduate mentor in the Massey University Wellington psychology post-graduate community network
2008 Assisting with writing course material for Massey University paper: Sleep, circadian rhythms and shift work