Sleep is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. However, Japanese people have a major problem with sleep. The average number of hours of sleep in Japan is extremely short compared to other developed countries, and it is said that one in five Japanese people do not get enough sleep. These sleep problems not only cause the onset and severity of diseases such as mood disorders, lifestyle-related diseases, malignant tumors, and dementia, but also result in economic losses. On the other hand, the neurophysiological functions and control mechanisms of sleep are still shrouded in mystery.IIIS has continued to conduct research into the mysteries of sleep, and has achieved results such as the discovery of genes involved in sleep regulation and the successful identification of neurons that induce a hibernation-like state in mice. This research project aims to solve health and economic problems related to sleep by elucidating the mechanisms of sleep and wakefulness and developing technologies and drugs to artificially control them, with the following two sub-goals.
Sub-goal 1 [Realization of a society in which prevention is a natural part of daily life]
1. Relief from sleep through healthy short sleep The amount of sleep we need to maintain our health is genetically determined. However, due to work, housework, and schoolwork, many people are unable to get the proper amount of sleep for themselves, and many have a sleep debt. Therefore, we aim to develop a method to adjust the genetically determined sleep time, and to develop a technology that allows people to lead healthy and active lives even with short sleep. 2. A society that doesn’t get sick from sleep debt It is known that sleep debt causes the onset and severity of a variety of diseases. Our goal is to elucidate this mechanism and develop methods to prevent diseases. 3. Tailor-made preventive medicine based on sleep trends S’UIMIN, Inc., a venture company from IIIS, has developed a home-use sleep measurement device and launched a sleep measurement service in 2020. Using this device, we will develop a method to predict disease risk based on individual sleep characteristics and trends. In addition, we will realize tailor-made preventive medicine combined with the preventive technologies described in 2 above.
Sub-goal 2 [Realization of a medical network that enables access to necessary medical care anywhere in the world]
4. A society that provides access to sleep medicine anywhere, even in times of disaster In order to accurately diagnose sleep-related diseases, it is necessary to measure EEG. However, there are only a limited number of hospitals that can do this, and it is very difficult to perform EEG measurements in rural areas or in emergencies such as disasters. Therefore, we will create a society where sleep medicine can be provided anytime, anywhere. 5. A society where artificial hibernation technology can dramatically reduce mortality and aftereffects in emergency and disaster situations IIIS has succeeded in artificially putting mice into a hibernation-like state in 2020. By applying this technology, we aim to make artificial hibernation possible in humans. Hibernation-like state can prevent the worsening of symptoms in case of injury or sudden illness. It also allows time for emergency rescue, facilitating emergency transport and preventing medical collapse during emergencies and disasters.