Reykjavik Unversity Sleep Institute

Forms a health-promoting community

The Reykjavík University Sleep Institute (RUSI) was founded in 2020 and is a research center within Reykjavík University. RUSI is a multi-disciplinary institution and has researchers and employees from various departments within the university. Those include the Department of Engineering, Department of Psychology, Department of Sport Science, and Department of Computer Science. RUSI also cooperates with specialists in the Icelandic health care system, providing its facilities for sleep or circadian rhythm researches. Other primary users will be the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Heart Association, Landspitali – University Hospital, and “Better Sleep”, which specializes in online cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia.

RUSI conducts all kinds of research regarding sleep in Iceland, such as researching sleep apnea and circadian rhythm. Researchers in RUSI hope to take advantage of the unique Icelandic environment: Arctic latitude with highly variable sun exposure levels, relatively isolated population with high willingness to participate in research and longitudinal follow-up, the quality of electronic health records and synergy by adding state-of-the-art sleep and circadian rhythm measurements to current basic and clinical research. RUSI aims to use Iceland’s unique position to provide valuable information that can be utilized on an international scale.

RUSI possesses advanced equipment, intended for measuring and studying sleep. The equipment consists of a polysomnography (PSG) system to measure sleep stages, periodic limb movements (PLM), bruxism or additional EMG, breathing, activity, snoring, and oxygen saturation. Also, an actigraph for measuring circadian rhythm activity, physical activity and sleep length/quality for longer periods, and light glasses which mimic sunlight. All the systems are portable and can be moved from one laboratory to another if needed.

Sleep and circadian rhythm research prove to be vastly important, as we continue to learn about the importance of sleep. Studies in this field help us to better understand the clear-cut between the healthy and diseased state of the human body, mind, and brain.