Poor sleep is a common issue for UK adults, not just insomniacs. Its negative impact on health and well-being will become more pervasive as our population ages. At least half of UK mid-life adults get poor sleep but are not insomniacs. Sleep hygiene is their only recommended treatment – e.g. exercise, limit caffeine intake – and it is hard for an individual to implement it well. There is no standard definition of sleep hygiene and there are at least 15 practices – this is overwhelming for individuals, who differ in their existing sleep-hygiene practices and sensitivity to interventions. Current solutions do not identify which practices would have most impact on an individual, nor do they support interventions. There is very limited guidance on how to do the practices properly – e.g. how many minutes of exercise is required? There is limited understanding of how thresholds differ between individuals, and no understanding of relative practice impact – e.g. is limiting my caffeine going to have more or less impact for me than exercise? Sleep-hygiene interventions are found to have a medium effect on ‘healthy’ adult sleep based on subjective measures, which have a limited correlation with objective measures that link to health outcomes. These interventions do not incorporate substantial learning from other non-sleep behavioural interventions, like the use of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) which increase the impact of interventions, especially if multiple BCTs are used.
The objective of my PhD is to enhance healthy UK adult sleep by using AI to objectively assess drivers of sleep quantity and quality, and to support interventions. An integrated set of sleep-hygiene practice impact, metrics and thresholds will be developed, and an understanding of the different ‘sleep phenotypes’. Better ‘advice package’ interventions will be built and tested objectively, incorporating 12 BCTs. AI will enable this and create additional ethical challenges which will be mitigated.
Forward looking responsibility.
I have spent most of my career helping drive strategic and commercial change in consumer companies. I was responsible for Strategy, Business Development and Ventures at Diageo in my last role. Prior to that, I was Barry’s Bootcamp MD International and Chief Marketing Officer, based in the US. Before that, I was a Partner at Bain, where I worked for 16 years. My last role there was running Results Delivery in Asia, based out of Shanghai. I am an active angel, investing to back founders in tech/ consumer companies.
MA (Hons) in Politics, Economics, and Philosophy, University of Oxford
MBA, Harvard University
MSc Computer Science, University of Bath
Dr Julian Padget
Dr George Stothart
Dr Liz Coulthard