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Message posted on 07/06/2021

Making Sleep: new insights for a new public health. Online workshop 7-8 July 2021

Making Sleep: New Insights for a New Public Health? 7 - 8 July 2021 Whilst sleep is clearly important for health and wellbeing, current public health responses often simply advise people to sleep more. For example, it has been suggested that the UK Government are "planning to issue guidance on how much sleep people should be getting every night" (BBC News, 2019). According to a leaked Department of Health & Social Care (2019) Green paper, the Government will review the evidence on sleep and health with the view to informing the case for guidance on hours of sleep. This resonates with calls from the UK Royal Society for Public Health, for a 'slumber number' to be published which makes it easier for individuals to know how much they should be sleeping (Royal Society for Public Health, 2018). The United States National Sleep Foundation has also recently issued age-specific sleep duration recommendations (Hirshkowitz et al., 2015). These approaches appear limited. For one, sleep is liminal and beyond the limits of voluntary agency. For another, sleep is linked to social position. Grandner (2017), for example, highlights how race, ethnicity, culture, employment, neighbourhood, socioeconomic status, marriage and the family environment all impact on an individual's sleep. Moving forward requires a fundamentally different approach. Previous discussions of sleep and public health have tended to be siloed within disciplinary domains, exacerbating uncertainties and limiting meaningful dialogue. The current landscape is also complex and rapidly changing - with sleep presently caught in a perfect storm of anxiety, technological innovation and uncertainty. Digital technologies, for example, now prioritise a form of 'algorithmic' sleep which does not seem to fit easily into historical notions of expertise or the established dualism of 'subjective' and 'objective' sleep. These shifts and developments transcend disciplinary specific voices and sociologists, sleep scientists, practitioners, public health specialists all need to come together and critically reflect. The proposed workshop therefore brings together scholars and practitioners from a range of different disciplines to debate and discuss how we might move beyond traditional confines and work towards a new national sleep strategy. Bringing together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines, the workshop will: (i) Map the complexity of sleep across different domains (such as in the clinic, through wearable technologies art, literature and public health). (ii) Use this as an evidence base to explore new conceptual frames and revisit fundamental questions - such as what is sleep, how should we sleep, how should we measure sleep? (iii) Explore the implications therein for a new public health for sleep CONFIRMED SPEAKERS Louise Berger, Royal Surrey County Hospital Derk-Jan Dijk, University of Surrey Jason Ellis, Northumbria University Christine Hine, University of Surrey Jeff Mann, SleepJunkies Robert Meadows, University of Surrey Michael Grandner, University of Arizona Diletta De Cristofaro, Northumbria University Martyn Pickersgill, University of Edinburgh Other speaker details to be released nearer the time. EVENT PROGRAMME Day 1 - Mapping the complexity of sleep across different domains [09:30 to 14:00 UTC+1] Day 1 will include short talks on sleep across different domains - namely the clinic, digital technology, online spaces, public health, art and literature. Speakers will be invited to reflect on the messiness of sleep and highlight any challenges around normativity, interventions and expertise. The day will end with themed breakout rooms. Day 2 - Responding to the complexity of sleep [14:30 to 17:30 UTC+1] Day 2 begins with keynote talks introducing different conceptual frames and ways to think about the complexities of sleep. Multidisciplinary panels will then be invited to reflect on future agendas - for both our understandings of sleep and public health responses. Visit for free registration.

Prof Christine Hine Department of Sociology University of Surrey Guildford, Surrey GU2 7NX

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