If you’ve ever experienced a terrible night’s sleep, you might soon find out how much it can affect your day. Researchers at Western University in London, Ontario are attempting to create the world’s largest sleep study in hopes of determining once and for all how much our brains are influenced by poor sleep.
The researchers are hoping to accumulate data from 100,000 volunteers in a three-day online survey.
Adrian Owen, the neuroscientist leading the study, explained in a statement that “we have the opportunity in this study to learn far more about the brain’s response to sleep than we have ever had before. What we learn ultimately has the potential to change how millions of people go about their daily lives.”
“We all have a bad night of sleep every once in a while, and we drive our cars and we go to work, but are we doing this in a cognitively deprived state?” said Bobby Stojanoski, another researcher from the study.
Once registered, the volunteers will be asked to fill in a short survey with personal information such as education level, occupation, religious beliefs and languages spoken. The survey will then ask about sleep patterns, drug and alcohol use, and social interactions. After the questionnaire is complete, the participant will need to record their sleep patterns for three days and complete online tests, which will focus on grammar, math skills and overall cognitive awareness.
Volunteers who complete the survey will receive a report on their results, including an overview of how they compare to other users. For those interested in taking part, you can register on their website.
“Research shows that lack of sleep can impair brain health as much as alcohol,” reads the website. “By participating in this study, you will help world-renowned neuroscientists uncover exactly how sleep affects brain health at an unimaginable scale.”