Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms

Diane B. Boivin, MD, PhD founded the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in 1997, thanks to the support from the Douglas Hospital Foundation and a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Investigators at the Centre conduct multidisciplinary research studies on human circadian rhythms (daily rhythmic events) and sleep. Sleep disturbances, reduction in performance and cognitive abilities at certain times of day, as well as gastrointestinal, hormonal and cardiovascular disorders are some of the consequences related to circadian rhythm disorders.

The Centre's goal is to propose new solutions to the problems that may be associated with sleep-wake cycle disturbances and circadian rhythms disorders. The team works in collaboration with colleagues with expertise in:

  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular biology
  • Psychiatry
  • Cardiology

Mission

  • To nurture new ideas in research on human circadian rhythms;
  • To apply state-of-the-art techniques and new knowledge to conduct research on human circadian rhythms and sleep;
  • To conduct all aspects of the research with integrity and in an ethical fashion;
  • To train the next generation of researchers in human chronobiology via the mentorship of undergraduate, graduate (master and doctorate) and postdoctoral fellow students;
  • To provide an environment in which students and staff members are enriched by interactions with colleagues and other research groups at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and at conferences;
  • To actively participate in research by fostering collaborations with researchers from other fields of concentration locally, nationally and internationally;
  • To transfer knowledge from the academic environment about practices promoting good sleep and circadian rhythms hygiene as well as fatigue management in the workplace.

Time isolation rooms

The Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms consists of three spacious windowless isolation suites, which provide tightly controlled light levels and isolation from external time cues. Thanks to this design, participants can live comfortably in time-isolation for several weeks. This design also provides the opportunity to perform the various and extensive protocols of the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms, such as sleep deprivation, simulated jet lag and night-shift work, constant routine, ultra-rapid sleep/wake cycles and forced desynchrony.

The isolation suites are built around a control room, which is centrally located and includes an area for intensive and long duration physiologic monitoring of a number of variables including:

  • Sleep
  • Vigilance, mood, and performance
  • Driving abilities
  • Body temperature
  • Hormonal rhythms (e.g. melatonin, cortisol)
  • Cardiac rhythm and blood pressure
  • Clock gene expression

Funding

The research team, their activities and development of the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms infrastructure are supported by a number of agencies including:

Research granting agencies

  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • “Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé” (FRQS)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • “Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail” (IRSST)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 
  • Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation (CPRF)
  • National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) 
  • Levinchi Foundation

Fellowships

  • “Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé” (FRSQ)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • “Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail” (IRSST) 

Research grants and contracts

  • Public works and Government Services Canada
  • “Société de l'assurance automobile Québec” (SAAQ)
  • “Commission de la santé et sécurité du Travail du Québec” (CSST)

Donations

  • The Manulife Assurance Company of Canada 
  • Douglas Institute Foundation

 

Contact

Douglas Mental Health University Institute 

Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms

Frank B. Common Pavilion

6875 LaSalle Boulevard 

Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3

For general information:

Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 3333

Fax.: 514-888-4099

 

To make an appointment at the Sleep Disorder Clinic:

Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 3301