Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and renowned expert in circadian rhythms, sleep and jet lag, Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.
 

Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and renowned expert in circadian rhythms, sleep and jet lag. He has spent 25 years studying sleep and works with clients such as Formula 1's elite and NASA astronauts.
 

 
 


Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D., is a Neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health.

He received his B.Sc. (Hons) in Biology from the University of Manchester, UK in 1992 and a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Surrey, UK in 1997. He joined the faculty at Surrey in 1999 and the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 2003.

The problems caused by jet lag cannot be tackled using generic advice, which is oversimplistic and can often be counterproductive, making jet lag worse. Each traveler and trip is different and requires a personalized approach taking your sleep pattern, chronotype, flight plan, and a range of personal preferences into account.
— Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.

With nearly 25 years of research experience in circadian rhythm and sleep, Dr. Lockley is a specialist in ways to reset the circadian clock, particularly the role of light and melatonin. He has studied the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker extensively including the role of light wavelength, timing, duration and pattern. This work has led to development of ‘smart’ lighting applications designed to improve alertness, safety and productivity. He was also the first to show that daily melatonin administration could reset the biological clocks of totally blind people and treat non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder (N24HSWD), a serious circadian rhythm disorder. These studies inspired the clinical trials that led to the approval of tasimelteon, a melatonin agonist, as the first FDA- and EMA-approved drug to treat N24HSWD in the blind. 

Dr Lockley has also studied the impact of circadian disruption, long work hours, sleepiness and sleep disorders on performance and health in occupational groups, including doctors, police and firefighters, and has led several workplace interventions that have reduced workplace errors and injury. He also advises NASA on how to alleviate jetlag for astronauts traveling the globe and how to reduce the problems associated with shiftwork at NASA Mission Control. 

Dr. Lockley has published more than 150 original reports, reviews, chapters and editorials on circadian rhythms and sleep and his research is funded by NASA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among others. He has won a number of awards including a Wellcome Trust International Prize Research Travelling Fellowship, the Sleep Research Society Young Investigator Award, the Healthy Sleep Community Award (as part of the Harvard Work Hours Health and Safety Group) from the National Sleep Foundation, the Harvard Club of Australia Foundation Harvard-Australia Fellowship, the Taylor Technical Talent Award from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and two awards from NASA: the Group Achievement Award (as part of the Chilean Miners NASA Rescue Support Team) and the Johnston Space Center Director's Innovation Team Award (as part of the ISS Flexible Lighting Team). He co-edited the first textbook on sleep and health ‘Sleep, health and society: From Aetiology to Public Health’ and recently co-authored ‘Sleep: A Very Short Introduction’ from Oxford University Press.

 

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