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Charli Sargent

Senior Research Fellow
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Appleton Institute
Adelaide
Wayville SA 5034 - 44 Greenhill Road
About Me

Hello. I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science, which is based at CQUniversity’s Adelaide campus in South Australia.

The most significant contributions I have made to my research field are in the advancement of basic knowledge regarding the relationships between sleep, health, body clock, and performance, and the practical application of this knowledge in specific populations (e.g., shiftworkers, elite athletes). Since completing my PhD in 2006, I have led several large scale studies—in the laboratory and in the field—that have (1) examined the impact of different sleep strategies on sleep and performance, (2) evaluated the impact of sleep restriction on sleep propensity, and (3) identified factors that affect the sleep of elite athletes.

For example:

· Working closely with the Australian Institute of Sport, my research in the field has shown that that elite athletes obtain substantially less sleep on average (e.g. 6.4h/day) than the generally accepted target of 8h/day. It is likely that this level of sleep loss (e.g. 1.6h/day) would have acute and chronic effects on the performance and wellbeing of these athletes.

· My research in time-isolation accommodation suites has shown that the circadian system’s strong influence on sleep/wake patterns is substantially weakened under conditions of chronic sleep restriction.

A snapshot of my research career:

· I am a member of the sleep and circadian rhythms research group led by Associate Professor Greg Roach at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science.

· I have been a Chief Investigator (CI) on multidisciplinary team-based grants worth over $2.4 million. I have been awarded two ARC Discovery Projects to evaluate the efficacy of sleep strategies for coping with night work (CIA) and to understand the relationships between patterns of eating, sleep, and activity (CIC); one NHMRC Project grant (CIC) to examine the relationship between sleep duration (5, 6, 7, 8, 9h time in bed) and glucose metabolism; and one ARC Linkage Project to determine the effects of training load on the quantity/quality of sleep obtained by elite athletes (with the Australian Institute of Sport; CIA) on which I was also awarded an ARC Australian Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Industry (2009-2012). In addition, I have been a co-investigator on three Australian Institute of Sport High Performance Grants ($54k), and two Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation grants ($590k).

· I have conducted research with peak sporting organisations including: Australian Institute of Sport, Cricket Australia, Hockey Australia, Cycling Australia, FIFA, Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Teams (2008, 2010, 2012), AFL, Super Rugby

· I have published more than 80 refereed journal articles and conference papers.

· I have an h-index of 21 (Scopus).

· More than 70% of my articles have been published in journals ranked in the top quartile of their respective fields (based on ISI impact factor).

Please contact me by email (charli.sargent@cqu.edu.au) if:

· you would like a reprint of one of my papers.

· you are a student wishing to conduct a research project at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

· you work in higher education, government and/or industry and you are interested in research collaboration.

· you work in the media and you would like me to provide information, commentary, or an interview.

General
Background

I am interested in a range of research topics related to sleep and circadian rhythms, including the following…

Laboratory-based:

· effects of sleep restriction/deprivation on neurobehavioural performance.

· effects of chronic sleep loss on the development of life-style related health disorders (e.g. diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease).

effects of irregular sleep/wake patterns on the circadian system.

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Field-based:

· relationships between training loads, sleep quality/quantity, and sports performance in elite athletes (e.g. AFL footballers, Olympic swimmers, Olympic cyclists, etc).

· effects of domestic and international travel on sleep, alertness, and performance in elite athletes

· effects of irregular duty schedules on sleep, alertness, and neurobehavioural performance (e.g. rural/urban train drivers, long-haul truck drivers).