Sleep and Metabolism Study

Surrey Clinical Research Centre- Effects of a 5-hour phase delay of light and behaviour on daily rhythms of human metabolism

Would you like to participate in one of our research projects looking into how timings of meals can affect our metabolism? You can do this by joining a clinical study at our specialist centre in Guildford.

The aim of the study is to test the contribution of internal circadian (24-hour) rhythms and behavioural cycles on energy expenditure and related hormonal pathways. This work will may help explain research that links timing of food intake to body weight regulation. 

We are currently looking for participants who are between 20 and 60 years old with no current or history of any sleep disorders. You should usually go to bed between 9pm and 12am and sleep between 6 and 9 hours per night. We would also require you to be happy to attend a nine day residential stay here at the centre.

The study will be approximately six months long but your involvement in it will be up to an eight week period that would include two visits to the centre. The first visit would be a screening visit, which will last around four hours, to establish your eligibility for the study. Ahead of your second visit, you will be required to keep to a regular sleep/ wake cycle for 7 days. The second visit is a residential stay of nine days where you will take part in a phased delay sleep protocol where your sleep will be delayed by five hours on day 2 (the equivalent of a westward transatlantic flight). During this time we will monitor your metabolism using wearable technology and blood tests.

Participant Requirements 

To be eligible to take part you must be:

between 20 and 60 years of age at screening

have BMI between 27 and 40 kg/m2 inclusive

have habitual bedtime between 21:00-24:00, with between 6-9 hours in bed per night

no history of any sleep disorders


taking no medication (prescribed or non-prescribed) that effects sleep or metabolism

willing to report wake up and bed times to a lab voicemail, wearing Actiwatches continuously and completing daily sleep and food diaries for 7 days before the laboratory session

agree to refrain from alcohol, caffeine and heavy exercise and to consume only the food and drink provided 72 hours before the study session

be able to eat egg

not a vegetarian or vegan


Inconvenience Allowance 

You will be remunerated for your time with £1450 on full completion of the study, in addition to reimbursement of reasonable travel costs. 

More Information? 


You will be screened over the telephone in the first instance to assess your suitability and to be advised of all other restrictions; if you wish to participate and the results from the telephone screen identify you as suitable, you will be invited to the centre for a screening visit. For the initial visit you must bring in your passport.

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