Division of Sleep Research

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Sleep Building

Research in the Division of Sleep Research is aimed to explore the mechanisms of sleep regulation during various phases of life and to conduct translational research in emerging aspects of sleep control for improving human health. The unique feature of this laboratory is that the knowledge gained from animal experiments is applied for the management of various sleep disorders in human. The research laboratory works in close collaboration with the Sleep Clinic in identifying the unresolved puzzles of sleep disorders and seeks to find a solution to those human maladies. This most modern research laboratory is equipped with the latest instruments and technology to conduct basic sleep research in animal models and human subjects. A PhD program in Neuroscience is initiated to look into the various aspects of sleep loss on cognition (anxiety, learning & memory), developmental plasticity in neural networks related to sleep and autonomic system, interrelationship of sleep and thermoregulation, inflammatory markers and effects of yogic interventions on overall wellbeing.


Division of Sleep Research is equipped to conduct research on the unresolved questions related to sleep and its functions. The mechanisms for sleep regulation are studied in rat models using both wired and wireless system (telemetric system) for recording sleep, body temperature and blood pressure. Different types of radio-transmitters for recording sleep, temperature, blood pressure are chronically implanted into animal's body for recording these parameters in unrestricted natural state. EEG electrodes are implanted using stereotaxic instrument. Along with visual scoring, SleepSign software is employed for analysing various components of sleep. Simulation studies are carried out in an environmental chamber which provides meticulously controlled experimental conditions essential for study involving interaction of sleep and thermoregulation.

Telemetric system: Recording of sleep, body temperature & blood pressure

Individual rats subcutaneously implanted with specific radiotransmitter are placed in polypropylene cages over the receiver to acquire signal for EEG, EOG, EMG, temperature or blood pressure.

Telmetric System
Environmental chamber for simulation studies in rats

The environmental chamber is a sound-proof chamber in which temperature, humidity and light can be controlled from outside using software in PC. The sleep in animal is telemetrically recorded in the temperature simulation protocols without disturbing the animal. A transparent plexiglas door in front panel permits behavioral monitoring of the animals either through eyes or using video recording. In this environmental chamber, 4 animals can be simultaneously monitored in one simulation protocol.

Environmental Chamber - Rat
Single unit recording (extra-cellular) system

Sleep Research laboratory has single units recording setup both in anesthetized and un-anesthetized rats. In anesthetized state, single units are recorded simultaneously with sleep-wakefulness. Glass microelectrodes are prepared using microelectrode puller (Narishige Model PE 22) and lowered in the desired area of brain using micromanipulator fitted to stereotaxic instrument (Kopf).

Multichannel Field potential recording system

Sleep induced neuronal plasticity is studied by recording field potentials and performing the theta activity coherence from hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex using 16-channel brain electrical scanning system (BESS) in rats.

Cognitive behavior testing

The effects of sleep manipulation on the various cognitive parameters including anxiety, emotions, learning and memory are studied employing various behavioral tests in animals. The effect of sleep restriction on spatial memory is tested using the radial arm maze (8 arms). Treatment induced anxiety is measured using elevated plus-maze, open field and light-dark chamber test. The different variables (e.g., total locomotion in the open field and closed-arm entries in the plus-maze, time spent in light and dark chamber etc) are analyzed using ANYMAZE software with videotracking system.

Neonatal anxiety testing: Ultrasonic Vocalizations (USVs) recorder

The effect of prenatal sleep deprivation on offspring is tested through recording their anxiety calls. The Ultrasonic vocalizations in neonates are used to quantify the emotional state in growing pups to study developmental plasticity.

Sleep and temperature monitoring in human

Setup for sleep, actigraphy and multi-channel temperature recordings in human is soon coming up. The ambulatory PSG simultaneous with temperature monitoring from various sites of body are designed to understand interrelationship between sleep and body temperatures during normal and acute insomnia conditions. This would help in establishing the optimal ambient temperature required in eliciting and maintaining a good night's sleep. The study design translates into a potential non-pharmacological intervention in management of primary insomnia in different age groups. Actigraphy will provide insight into circadian patterns for insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders.


Testing of herbal products for sleep in animal models

Educational Activities: To organize workshops, schools and conferences in area of Sleep and Neurosciences

IBRO-APRC Neuroscience SCHOOL 2019: Dr Kamalesh K Gulia, SIC of Division of Sleep Research, organized IBRO-APRC SCHOOL 2019: International Neuroscience School on Advanced Techniques to Explore the Functions of Normal & Diseased Brain from 22nd April to 6th May 2019, BMT Wing, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

IBRO-APRC Neuroscience SCHOOL 2019
IBRO-APRC Neuroscience SCHOOL 2019
IBRO-APRC Neuroscience SCHOOL 2019

Asian Sleep Research Society congress, ASRS2014: Dr Kamalesh K Gulia, SIC of Division of Sleep Research (then named as Sleep Disorders Research Laboratory) organized ASRS-2014 International conference at Kovalam during September 22-24, 2014. It was attended by delegates, Sleep Medicine experts and Sleep Researchers from 16 countries including Japan, USA, Australia, Finland, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Georgia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Israel and India.


National Sleep Medicine workshop, NMSC2010 was conducted to provide introduction to basic sleep science, the technical and clinical aspects of sleep medicine. The program was organized for general practitioners, neurotechnicians and basic scientists in Kerala and southern India to bring awareness for Sleep Medicine and Research.

National Sleep Medicine Cource - 2010

To organize Conferences on Sleep in order to generate wide-spread interest among Neuro-biologists and clinicians to take up research programmes to improve the basic knowledge of human sleep and sleep disorders in our country. These activities at national forum are aimed to promote Sleep Research, generate interdisciplinary teams to develop important diagnostic and effective therapeutic strategies at low cost for masses.


Newly initiated:

Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): Neural correlates of Yoga Nidra for management of insomnia in peri-menopausal women under SATYAM scheme of DST (2022-2025)

Completed Projects:

Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): Completed Project "To alleviate cognitive deficits in the offspring induced by sleep loss during pregnancy by administering alpha-asarone: A study in an animal model"
Financial sanction from the DST-CSRI scheme (2015-2019). INR 44.06 Lakhs
Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): Completed Project "To investigate the effects of short and long term administration of alpha-asarone on oxidative stress and anxiety alleviation in insomnia model in rats."
Financial sanction from CSIR (2012-2015). INR 23 Lakhs
Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): Completed Project "The effects of maternal sleep deprivation on cognition in the offspring in an animal model"
Financial sanction from DST-CSRI scheme (2012-2015). INR 42.47 Lakhs
Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): Completed Project titled "To investigate the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during development in regulation of sexual arousal and erectile events in adult rat"
Financial sanction from the DST in the WOS-A program research grant (2009-2013), INR 10 Lakhs.
Action of Guibourtia tessmannii (Caesalpiniaceae) extracts on sleep and reproductive system in obese male rats (NAM Center for S & T, Delhi) for Mr Deeh Defo Patrice Brice (PhD student, Univ of Dschang, Cameroon) (2015)
Co-Principal Investigator (Kamalesh K Gulia): To investigate the effects of acute sleep restriction on sleep and body temperature interactions in different age groups of healthy subjects, CSIR (2010-2012).
"To investigate the effects of REM sleep restriction on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions on the basis of gold nanoconstructs and the circulatory inflammatory markers in an animal model" by the SCTIMST (Over Head Funding; INR 2.5 Lakhs). Intramural Grant

Basic Research: To study neural dynamics in brain after sleep deprivation during pregnancy and in adults using animal models and simulation protocols in human. To identify the role of sleep during different phases of development in cognitive programming. To look for mechanism that interlinks sleep and body temperature, sleep and cardiac autonomic system in conditions of sleep restriction during various phases of development, and scientific evaluation of herbal principles for regulation of sleep.

Translational Research: Evaluation of ambient temperature manipulation as a non-pharmacological intervention for treatment of primary insomnia and to find inflammatory markers after acute and chronic sleep deprivation. To provide evidences for Yoga-nidra mechanism for improving the sleep and wellbeing.

To design, fabricate and evaluate prototype for sleep monitoring system.


Division of Sleep Research

Research collaborators:

Dr. Sapna Erat Sreedharan, Additional Professor (Neurology), SCTIMST

Dr. Namboodiri Narayanan KK, Professor (Cardiology Department), SCTIMST

Dr. Jayasree, Sc G (Biophotonics & imaging Lab, BMT wing)

Er. Jitinkrishnan, Er C (Div. of Medical Instrumentation Lab), SCTIMST

Dr. Anugya Bhatt, Sc F (Thrombosis Research Unit, BMT wing)

Dr. Manoj G, Sc E (Div. of Artificial Internal Organs, BMT Wing)