05:29am Monday 27 January 2020

BASE world first in sleep, nutrition and exercise research

BASE – Be Active Sleep & Eat – is designed to facilitate Monash University’s research through a unique multidisciplinary approach, enabling researchers, academics and professionals to integrate nutrition, sleep, exercise physiology and physical therapy research into practice within a single purpose-built facility at Notting Hill.

BASE will be led by experts from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – Professors Helen Truby (Nutrition and Dietetics), Shantha Rajaratnam (Psychology) and Iain Clarke (Physiology).  

Beyond research, BASE will offer a wide range of products and services to enhance the health of individuals and the community.

The BASE facility houses a three bedroom sleep laboratory, metabolism and body composition equipment, a commercial kitchen, exercise and fitness studio, and consulting rooms.  Experts in dietetics, sleep and sports nutrition offer students and community groups professional advice and hands on tuition.

“This is a terrific opportunity to engage with food industry partners,” Professor Truby said.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to further our understanding of how sleep, exercise and diet impact on metabolism, appetite and general health. The integrated and multidisciplinary approach at BASE is unique in Australia, if not the world.

“We have already commenced a collaborative research study with Jenny Craig Australia in the area of childhood obesity and plan to work with others in the sector on new product development.”

Professor Rajaratnam said as a society we are getting less sleep than ever, due to the demand for shift work, the use of light-emitting electronic devices and sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea.

Research by BASE facility researchers and others is showing that insufficient sleep leads to metabolic dysfunction that causes weight gain and even increases the desire for higher-calorie foods. By having experts in sleep, nutrition and exercise within one facility will facilitate the development of novel interventions that will address this growing concern.

“Sleep apnoea patients are ideally suited to the interventions and studies available at BASE,” Professor Rajaratnam said.   

Monash research students are another group to benefit from the new BASE facility.   

“Honours and PhD students will have research opportunities at this facility where they can understand obesity and its contributing factors in context,” said Professor Clarke.  

“Previously this wasn’t possible because the various groups weren’t co-located. BASE facilities will enable laboratory classes for research students from a range of areas including physiology, psychology, medicine, nutrition and dietetics.”

For more information or to request interviews please contact Courtney Karayannis, Monash Media & Communications on 0408508454

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