Surrey Sleep Research Centre, University of Surrey

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Derk-Jan Dijk
Professor of Sleep and Physiology
Egerton Road, GU2 7XP
United Kingdom
+44 1483 689341
+44 1483 689342
Contact E-mail:
Research Domain
  • Basic Animal
  • Basic Human
  • Pharmacology Human
  • Molecular Biology-Endocrinology-Biochemistry
  • Genetics of Sleep
  • Pharmacology of Sleep
  • Sleep and Ageing
  • Epidemiology of Sleep
  • Sleep Physiology-Neurophysiology in Human
  • Sleep Physiology-Neurophysiology in Animal
  • Biological Rhythms

Laboratory description

Designated research unit with 12 individual bedrooms and and a 12 bedded ward. Unit can be used for longterm sleep and circadian rhythm experiments, including continuous blood sampling, performance assessment, etc. We also have facilities to manipulate light. Animal facilities for sleep and circadian rhythm experiments

Technical Capabilities and areas of expertise

The SSRC undertakes a wide range of multidisciplinary and translational studies, in the real world and in the laboratory, with partners in research institutes, the medical community, industry and commerce. Areas of expertise include EEG analysis, circadian rhythms, pharmacology of sleep, cognitive performance, ageing, sex differences in sleep and circadian rhythms.

Additional Descriptors, Keywords

Sleep, neurophysiology, circadian rhythms, light, biological rhythms, cognitive performance, genetics

Selected Publications in the 5 past years:

Santhi N, Thorne HC, van der Veen DR, Johnsen S, Mills SL, Hommes V, Schlangen LJM, Archer SN, Dijk DJ The spectral composition of evening light and individual differences in the suppression of melatonin and delay of sleep in humans. J Pineal Research, 2011 Sep 20. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2011.00970.x.

Wulff K, Dijk DJ, Middleton B, Foster RG, Joyce E. Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in schizophrenia patients. British Journal of Psychiatry. In Press.

Dijk DJ, Stanley N, Lundahl J, Groeger JA, Legters A,Trap-Huusom, AK, Deacon S. Enhanced SWS and improved sleep maintenance after gaboxadol administration during 7 nights of exposure to a traffic noise model of transient insomnia. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2011 Oct 13

Duffy JF, Cain SW, Chang A-M, Phillips, AJK, Munch MY, Gronfrier C, Wyatt JK, Dijk DJ, Wright Jr. KP, Czeisler CA. Sex difference in the near-24-hour intrinsic period of the human circadian timing system. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, USA 2011, Sep 13;108 Suppl 3:15602-8

Boyle J, Stanley N, James LM, Wright N, Johnsen S, Arbon EL, Dijk DJ Acute sleep deprivation: The effects of the AMPAKINE compound, CX717, on human cognitive performance, alertness and recovery sleep. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2011 Sep 22

Wang D, Piper AJ, Wong KK, Yee BJ, Dijk DJ, Grunstein RR. Slow wave sleep in patients with respiratory failure. Sleep Medicine, 2011;12(4):378-383.

Vandewalle G, Archer SN, Wuillaume C, Balteau E, Degueldre C, Luxen A, Dijk DJ, Maquet P. Effects of light on cognitive brain responses depend on circadian phase and sleep homeostasis Journal of Biological Rhythms, 2011; 26:249-259.

James LM, Iannone R, Palca J, Renger JJ, Calder N, Cerchio K, Gottesdiener K, Hargreaves R, Murphy, Boyle J, Dijk DJ. Effect of a novel histamine subtype-3 receptor inverse agonist and modafinil on EEG power spectra during sleep deprivation and recovery sleep in male volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 2011; 215:643-653

Groeger JA, Lo JCY, Burns CG, Dijk DJ. Effects of sleep inertia following daytime naps vary with executive load and time of day. Behavioural Neuroscience2011;125(2):252-260.

Vandewalle G, Schwartz S, Grandjean D, Wuillaume C Balteau E, Degueldre C, Schabus M, Phillips C, Luxen A,Dijk DJ, Maquet P. The spectral quality of light modulates emotional brain responses in humans. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, USA2010;107(45):19549-19554

Iannone R, Palcza JS, Renger JJ, Calder NA, Cerchio KA, Gottesdiener KM, Hargreaves RJ, Dijk DJ, Boyle J, Murphy M. Acute Alerting Effects of a Novel Histamine Subtype-3 Receptor Inverse Agonist in Healthy Sleep-deprived Male Volunteers. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics2010;88(6):831-839.

Dijk DJ, James LM, Peter S, Walsh JK, Deacon S. Sex differences in the effect of gaboxadol and zolpidem on EEG power spectra in NREM and REM sleep. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2010;24:1613-8.

Cohen DA, Wang W, Wyatt JK, Kronauer RE, Dijk DJ, Czeisler CA, Klerman EB. Uncovering residual effects of chronic sleep loss on human performance. Science Translational Medicine. 2010; 2 (14) 14ra3

Dijk DJ, Groeger JA, Stanley N, Deacon S. Age-related reduction in daytime sleep propensity and nocturnal slow wave sleep. SLEEP,2010; 33:211-223.

Aeschbach D, Lockyer BJ, Dijk DJ, Lockley SW, Nuwayser ES, Nichols LD, Czeisler CA. Use of transdermal melatonin delivery to improve sleep maintenance during the daytime. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2009;86:378-82

VandewalleG, Archer SN, Wuillaume C, Balteau E, Degueldre C, Luxen A, Maquet P, Dijk DJ. Functional MRI assessed brain responses during an executive task depend on interaction of sleep homeostasis, circadian phase, and PER3 genotype. Journal of Neuroscience, 2009; 29(25):7948 –7956

Thorne HC, Jones KH, Peters S, Archer SN, Dijk DJ. Daily and seasonal variation in the spectral composition of light exposure in humans. Chronobiology International 2009;26:854-66.

Key Publications of the Laboratory:

Viola AU, James LM, Archer SN, Dijk DJ. PER3 Polymorphism and Cardiac Autonomic Control: Effects of Sleep Debt and Circadian Phase. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2008; 295(5):H2156-63

Viola AU, James L M, Schlangen LJM, Dijk DJ. Blue-enriched white light in the work place improves self-reported alertness, performance and sleep quality. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2008; 34 (4): 297-306

Klerman EB, Dijk DJ. Age-related reduction in the maximal capacity for sleep -implications for insomnia. Current Biology2008; 18(15):1118-23. Epub 2008 Jul 24

Groeger JA, Viola AU, Lo, JCY, von Schantz M, Archer SN, Dijk DJ. Early morning executive functioning during sleep deprivation is compromised by a PERIOD3 polymorphism. SLEEP, 2008; 31(8):1159-1167

Sterr A, Herron K, Dijk DJ, Ellis J.Time to wake-up: sleep problems and daytime sleepiness in long-term stroke survivors.Brain Inj. 2008;22(7):575-579

Lockley SW, Dijk DJ, Kosti O, Skene DJ, Arendt J. Alertness, mood and performance rhythm disturbances associated with circadian sleep disorders in the blind. J Sleep Res, 2008;17(2):207-216.

Archer SN, Viola AU, Kyriakopoulu V, von Schantz M, Dijk DJ. Inter-individual differences in habitual sleep timing and entrained phase of endogenous circadian rhythms in BMAL1, PER2 and PER3 mRNA in human leukocytes. SLEEP. 2008; 31 (5): 608-617

Vandewalle G,Schmidt C, Albouy G, Sterpenich V, Darsaud A, Rauchs G, Berken P.-Y, Balteau E, Degueldre C, Luxen A, Maquet P, Dijk DJ. Brain responses to violet, blue, and green monochromatic light exposures in humans performing a working memory task: prominent role of blue light and the brainstem. Plos One 2007;2(11):e1247

Zeitzer JM, Duffy JF, Lockley SW, Dijk DJ, Czeisler CA. Plasma melatonin rhythms in young and older humans during sleep, sleep deprivation and wake. Sleep.2007; 30 (11):1437-1443.

Viola AU, Archer SN, James LM, Groeger JA, Lo CY, Skene DJ, von Schantz M, Dijk DJ. PER3 polymorphism predicts sleep structure and waking performance. Current Biology 2007 17: 613-618.

Vandewalle G, Gais S, Schabus M, Balteau E, Carrier J, Darsaud A, Sterpenich V, Albouy G, Dijk DJ, Maquet P. Wavelength-Dependent Modulation of Brain Responses to a Working Memory Task by Daytime Light Exposure. Cerebral Cortex, 2007;17(12):2788-2795.

Walsh JK, Deacon S, Dijk DJ, Lundahl J The selective extrasynaptic GABAA agonist, gaboxadol, improves traditional hypnotic efficacy measures and enhances Slow Wave Activity in a model of transient insomnia. SLEEP. 2007; 30(5): 593-602

Vandewalle G, Middleton B, Rajaratnam SMW, Stone BM, Thorleifsdottir B, Arendt J, Dijk DJ. Robust circadian rhythm in heart rate and its variability: influence of exogenous melatonin and photoperiod. J Sleep Res. 200716(2):148-155.

Jones KHS, Ellis J, von Schantz M, Skene DJ, Dijk DJ, Archer SN. Age-related change in the association between a polymorphism in the PER3 gene and preferred timing of sleep and waking activities. J Sleep Res. 2007, 16:12-16

Vandewalle G, Balteau E, Phillips C, Degueldre C, Moreau V, Sterpenich V, Albouy G, Darsaud A, Desseilles M, Dang-Vu T, Peigneux P, Luxen A, Dijk DJ, MaquetP. Daytime light dynamically enhances brain responses. Current Biology 2006,16(16):1616-1621.

Wyatt JK, Dijk DJ, Ritz-De Cecco A, Ronda JM, Czeisler CA. Sleep facilitating effect of exogenous melatonin in healthy young men and women is circadian-phase dependent. Sleep 2006, 29(4) 609-618.

Cropley M, Dijk DJ, Stanley N Job strain, work rumination and sleep in school teachers. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 2006, 15(2):181-196

Klerman EB, Dijk DJ. Inter-individual variation in sleep duration and its association with sleep debt in young adults. Sleep 2005, 28: 1253-1259.

Rajaratnam SMW, Middleton B, Stone BM, Arendt J, Dijk DJ. Melatonin advances the circadian timing of EEG sleep and directly facilitates sleep without altering its duration. J Physiol (Lond), 2004, 561: 339-351

Perrin F, Peigneux P, Fuchs S, Verhaeghe S, Laureys S, Middleton B, Degueldre C, Del Fiore G, Vandewalle G, Balteau E, Poirrier R, Moreau V, Luxen A, Maquet P, Dijk DJ. Non-visual responses to light exposure in the human brain during the circadian night, Current Biol. 2004 14:1842-1846.

Groeger JA, Zijlstra FH, Dijk DJ. Sleep quantity, sleep difficulties and their perceived consequences in a representative sample of some two thousand British adults, J Sleep Res, 2004; 13:359-71.

Wyatt JK, Cajochen C, Ritz- De Cecco A, Czeisler CA, Dijk DJ. Low dose, repeated caffeine administration for circadian-phase dependent performance degradation during extended wakefulness. Sleep 2004; 27: 374-381.Klerman EB, Davis JB, Duffy JF, Dijk DJ, Kronauer RE. Older people awaken more frequently but fall back asleep at the same rate as younger people. Sleep 2004; 27: 793-798.

Rajaratnam SMW, Dijk DJ, Middleton M, Stone BM, Arendt J. Melatonin phase-shifts human circadian rhythms with no evidence of changes in the duration of endogenous melatonin secretion or the 24-h production of reproductive hormones. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003; 88: 4303-4309.

Phipps-Nelson J, Redman JR, Dijk DJ, Rajaratnam SMW. Daytime exposure to bright light decreases sleepiness and improves psychomotor vigilance performance. Sleep, 2003; 26: 695-700.

Cajochen C, Jewett ME, Dijk DJ. Human circadian rhythms phase delay during a fixed sleep-wake schedule interspersed with nights of sleep deprivation. J Pineal Res. 2003; 35:149-157.

Current/Completed Grants (past 5 years):

Recent and current research funding sources include the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR, USA), Philips Lighting and H Lundbeck A/S
June 2011 – Sep 2012 Seasonal variation in the impact of artificial lighting on nighttime sleep and daytime alertness in older aduls. A comparison of incandescent compact fluorescent and new LED ultra-efficient lighting. Technology Strategy Board Co-investigator (PI Nayantari Santhi).

July 2011 – Feb 2012 Effects of light mixtures on sleep inertia: Philips Lighting. Principal Investigator.

Oct 2011 – Sept 2012 MILES (Models and Mathematics in Life and Social Sciences) Discipline Hop: “Modelling the sleep-wake cycle”. Collaborator: Investigators:Anne Skeldon, Gianne Derks

May 2011- A two-part, crossover study to investigate the effects of morning verses evening dosing and food interaction on the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple doses of ONO-5334 in healthy post menopausal women. Ono-Pharmaceuticals. Principal Investigator.

Feb 2011 – Jan 2014 The influence of the endogenous circadian pacemaker and sleep on primary headache disorders. Association of British Neurologists. Principal Investigators Nesbitt/Dijk.

Dec 2010 – Aug 2011 EEG validation study, Development of a translational EEG pharmacological marker.Sponsor Lilly Principal Investigator.

Sep 2010 – Dec 2010 Protocol Development: Effects of single doses of NCEs on sleep in healthy volunteers. Sponsor Lilly. Principal Investigator.

Sep 2009 – Sep 2010 Effects of an NCE on prolactin in healthy volunteers. Sponsor: Covance. Investigator. (PI: Dr J Boyle).

Jun 2009 – Feb 2010 Evaluation of evening light regimes which minimise suppression of melatonin and the nocturnal increase in sleepiness butmaintain visual function. Investigator Initiated Study. Funding: Philips Lighting BV. Principal Investigator.

Jun 2009 – May 2010 Investigator Initiated Research Project. Effect of prolonged release melatonin on EEG power spectra. H Lundbeck A/SPrincipal Investigator.

May 2008 – June 2009 Research Contract. A double blind, placebo Controlled Residual Effect study: Phase III. Sponsor: GSK Investigator. (PI; Dr J Boyle).

Sept 2008 – Sept 2011 Cognitive vulnerability following extended wakefulness in defined genotypes: Effects of sleep duration on sustained attention, executive function, and novel biomarkers. AFOSR Principal Investigator.

Sept 2008 – Sept 2011 Circadian and homeostatic contributions to physiology, cognition and genome-wide gene expression in human and mouse variants of the PER3 VNTR polymorphism . BBSRC. Principal Investigator.

Mar 2008 – Jun 2009 Research Contract Phase 1. A four way cross-over sleep deprivation study. Merck. Value. Investigator.

Jan 2008 – Oct 2008 Research Contract Phase III insomnia trial Organon Principal Investigator.

Dec 2007 – Jan 2008 Research Contract-Phase III insomnia trial Covance/Takeda Principal Investigator.

Jan 2008 – Dec 2010 Partial sleep restriction and insulin resistance; development of a physiological sleep-protocol for field use. Diabetes UKI nvestigator (PI M Robertson).

26 Sept 07 – 29 Feb 2008 Spectral analysis of wake and sleep EEG after administration of MK-0249 or modafinil: a sleep deprivation study. Merck Sharp&Dome, UK Principal Investigator.

20 Dec 06 -31 Aug 07 Evaluation of the efficacy of short-wavelength-enriched light in improving alertness and performance. Philips Lighting BV. Principal Investigator.

Confidential Research Contract: A Double-blind, double-dummy, randomised, placebo-controlled, four-way crossover study to investigate the effect of single oral doses of SB-649868 and of Zolpidem in a model of noise induced situational insomnia in healthy male volunteers GSK. Principal Investigator.

Other laboratory Members

Title:  BSc MSc PhD

Name:  Raphaëlle Winsky-Sommerer

Position:  Lecturer in Sleep and Circadian Rhythms


Title:  BSc MSc PhD

Name:  Malcolm von Schantz

Position:  Associate Dean (International Relations)


Title:  MSc PhD BA

Name:  Nayantara Santhi

Position:  Research Fellow at the SSRC


Title:  MD

Name:  Alex Nesbitt

Position:  Research Fellow in Clinical Neurology


Title:  PhD

Name:  June Chi -yan Lo

Position:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cognition, Sleep, and Circadian Rhythms


Title:  PhD

Name:  Sibah Hasan

Position:  Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Sleep, Circadian Rhythms & Gene Expression


Title:  BSc MSc PhD

Name:  Alpar Lazar

Position:  Visiting Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Sleep and Cognition


Title:  PhD

Name:  Jonathan Johnston

Position:  Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience


Title:  PhD

Name:  John Groeger

Position:  Professor of Cognitive Psychology, University of Cork, Ireland


Title:  BSc MSc PhD

Name:  Derk-Jan Dijk

Position:  Professor of Sleep and Physiology, Director Surrey Sleep Research Centre


Title:  BSc PhD

Name:  Simon Archer

Position:  Reader in Chronobiology, Biochemistry Admissions Tutor, Sleep Chronobiology and Neurodisorders Theme Leader


Past Members

Title:  PhD

Name:  Antoine Viola

Title:  PhD

Name:  Helen Thorne

Title:  PhD

Name:  Lynette James

Title:  PhD

Name:  Wei Chieh Choo

Title:  PhD

Name:  Karen Robertson

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