The Sleep and Cognition Laboratory (SCL), formerly called the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research team that is dedicated to improving human cognitive performance, health and wellbeing through is research on the benefits of sleep on cognition and conversely the neurobehavioral effects of sleep loss or fragmentation. Alongside, we seek to better understand how sleep can be optimized to improve cognitive aging.

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Gains in cognitive test performance that occur during adolescence are associated with brain maturation. Markers of brain maturation include cortical thinning and reduced sleep slow wave activity (SWA). Our results revealed age-related improvements in speed of processing and nonverbal intelligence. Further, these changes were associated with reduced cortical thickness as well as SWA. We also found that ROIs in the middle/superior temporal cortices, together with SWA, mediated the age-related improvement observed on cognition. Thus, age-related improvements in cognition are mediated by reductions in cortical thickness and sleep SWA.

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Oura article - Sleep with Oura

Findings from our recent study exploring the power of combining data from multiple sleep research tools has highlighted Oura’s exceptional participant compliance rate (89%). We also looked at the benefits of pairing Oura Ring data with phone usage stats and sleep diaries to identify individuals with similar sleeping patterns who would benefit from receiving specialized advice on how to improve their sleep.

Read the article here.

During COVID-19 lockdown, objective sleep and resting-heart rate were measured across 20 countries and in over 100,000 users of a consumer sleep tracker. These measurements were compared to an equivalent period of time in 2019. With lockdown measures, midsleep times were universally delayed, particularly on weekdays, while midsleep variability and resting heart rate declined. These were correlated with the severity of lockdown across the different countries.

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Commentary: Revenge bedtime procrastination in Singapore is coming at a cost

Revenge bedtime procrastination (when people feel the need to reclaim time for themselves before sleep, in order to free themselves from the demands of their jobs) can be harmful for physical and mental health, says Prof. Michael Chee and Dr. Stijn Massar.

Read more here.

In order to characterize habitual sleep behavior over 2 months, we integrated the use of a consumer sleep tracker, smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment, and user-phone interactions. We found that contrary to being problematic, discrepant data across measurement modalities facilitated the identification of interindividual differences in sleep behavior.

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Advisory on Junior College Students Seeking Interviews for Opinions on Teen Sleep, The Problem of Adolescent Sleep Deprivation (10 May 2021)

Thank you for your interest in sleep adequacy in this very important demographic.

Due to overwhelming number of requests and work priorities, Prof. Chee will regretfully cease granting any direct student interviews.

Students interested in gathering opinions are instead directed to examine the extensive collection of commentaries, academic papers, podcasts, interviews and media appearances on this website.

Can schools and parents help boost the cognition and well-being of sleep-deprived Singaporean teenagers?

Why sleep habits need to be formed when young

Cognition in school going students and sleep

You may credit Prof. Chee with quotes taken from these sources.

If you wish to write about ‘starting school later’ or ‘reconfiguring time-use in the post COVID-19 era or you have a question that is not answered by review of our posted and linked material, you may write to

Falling asleep is common in fMRI studies. By using long eyelid closures to detect microsleep onset, we showed that the onset and termination of short sleep episodes invokes a systematic sequence of BOLD signal changes that are large, widespread, and consistent across different microsleep durations.

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2021 Virtual Singapore Sleep Symposium: 27 April

Speakers across Singapore gathered for 'The A-B-Zzz of Sleep in Singapore: A Life Span Perspective'. This symposium was brought to you by the Centre for Sleep and Cognition (CSC) and chaired by Prof. Michael Chee.

Archived talks can be accessed here.

Existing literature suggests that sleep-dependent memory consolidation is impaired in older adults but may be preserved for personally relevant information. Prospective memory (PM) involves remembering to execute future intentions in a timely manner and has behavioral importance. As previous work suggests that N3 sleep is important for PM in young adults, we investigated if the role of N3 sleep in PM consolidation would be maintained in older adults.

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Channel NewsAsia: Daily scheduled naps improve learning and memory

Prof. Michael Chee speaks to Channel NewsAsia about the benefits of daily scheduled napping, following study findings. Naps were found to improve learning and memory in adolescents, even when sufficient overnight sleep was achieved. Click below to watch the full video.


The Sleep and Metabolism Study

We are looking for healthy NUS students residing in Prince George's Park Residences for our new study! Check out the video below to find out how you can get free catered meals and earn up to $450.

Interested in taking part? Click the link below to visit our sign up page.

Sign up here!

Daytime naps have been linked with enhanced memory encoding and consolidation. It remains unclear how a daily napping schedule impacts learning throughout the day, and whether these effects are the same for well-rested and sleep restricted individuals.

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Age-related cognitive deficits may be diminished by tapping into prior knowledge structures. We investigated age-related differences in the formation and updating of schemas and examined whether the memory benefits of recently acquired schemas would be preserved in older adults.

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Wearable devices have tremendous potential for large-scale longitudinal measurement of sleep, but their accuracy needs to be validated. We compared the performance of the multisensor Oura ring (Oura Health Oy, Oulu, Finland) to polysomnography (PSG) and a research actigraph in healthy adolescents.

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ISC Global Webinar Series.

Prof. Michael Chee gave the inaugural keynote for the International Sleep Charity (ISC) Global Webinar Series where he discussed: i) the motivation for the Need for Sleep studies; ii) how different sleep restriction schedules affect fundamental cognitive processes in adolescents; and iii) the benefits of a 60-90 minute afternoon nap.

Watch the video here.


Commentary: Singapore has kept COVID-19 off campuses.

This has been achieved with the help of projects such as Singapore Spacer as well as the collective efforts of campus communities. Prof. Michael Chee speaks to the New York Times on this subject.

Read the full NYT article here.


The Centre for Sleep and Cognition’s Annual Report for 2020

Featuring the centre’s mission, research highlights, and recent achievements.

The full report can be accessed here.


A look back on 2020

Curious as to what 2020 was like for the lab? Play this video to see.

We compared habitual and non-habitual nappers and their performance on a range of memory tasks following either a nap or wake period. It was found that naps were especially beneficial for habitual nappers performing a short-term topographical memory task, however napping was overall beneficial for long-term memory tasks even if one did not habitually nap.

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During the COVID-19 lockdown periods, we collected wearable data from working adults in order to characterise how COVID-19 associated mobility restrictions changed sleep and physical activity patterns, compared to before the lockdown periods.

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The results of Need for Sleep 5 are published! We compared the basic cognitive functions of adolescents undergoing split (nocturnal sleep + daytime nap) and continuous nocturnal sleep schedules when total sleep opportunity was either below or within the recommended range (i.e. 6.5 or 8 h).

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Podcast: The Only Thing Your Wearable Sleep Tracker Is Good For

Fitbit sleep trackers made the cash register ring 16 million times in 2019, according to one report. But how much of the sleep data is actually usable? Dr. Michael Chee says there is one nugget of data from a wearable sleep tracker that you can depend on, and that deals with whether there’s an overall trend. Sleep staging? Nope. Sleep quality? Nope. Sleep duration? Yeah, kinda.

Click here to give it a listen.


Commentary: Immobility during COVID-19 and its effects on our sleep, physical activity and well-being

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, play and sleep. There are different strategies to better cope, says Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Michael Chee.

Read more here.



Commentary: Not enough time? Transforming work and sleeping better in a digital world

Transforming current work and study habits to allow for more sleep and more efficient time use will result in better cognitive performance, wellbeing and health, says Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Michael Chee.

Read more here.

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