SPOKANE – For a myriad of maladies ranging from the common cold to heart disease, obesity, and a variety of cognitive disorders, a primary factor in determining who gets sick and how long their recovery will take is often the adequacy of their sleep.

Frequently at the heart of both the causes and effects of what ails us, the patterns of our sleep have implications for virtually everything we do. With drowsiness recognized as a contributing factor in many major accidents, sleep management is becoming an increasingly important strategy for predicting and preventing errors in such vital fields as transportation, medicine, mining, and energy.

But how does sleep affect our performance? Can getting more shuteye help us lose weight?  And are there specific linkages between our daily pains and our slumber or lack thereof?

These questions and others are addressed in the work of two of the world’s leading sleep researchers – Washington State University scientists Gregory Belenky, M.D. and director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center, WSU Spokane, and James Krueger, WSU Regents Professor, Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology at WSU Pullman. Conducting studies right here in Eastern Washington, the pair is changing our way of thinking about the role sleep plays in our lives.

Belenky and Krueger will share many of the results of their research in Spokane next week in a program entitled “What’s Sleep Got to Do with It? Everything!”  The program, which is the final in WSU’s 2009 spring series of “Innovators” presentations, will begin at noon on April 22 in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom of The Davenport Hotel, 10 South Post Street, Spokane.

Registration for the luncheon program is $35 per person and is available online at
www.innovators.wsu.edu, by calling (877) 978-3868, or at the door beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

The Innovators lecture series highlights the University’s research achievements and promotes informed discussion about matters of vital importance in the twenty-first century. In lectures and panel discussions by faculty experts and industry leaders, Washington State University explores a variety of topics and inspires new visions for the future.