Government of Canada announces additional research funding to help all people in Canada sleep soundly

News release

July 5, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Sleep is a crucial part of overall health, playing an important role in physical and mental health. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, infection or sepsis, cancer, poor mental health, and premature death. While half of all adults in Canada have trouble sleeping, research shows that racial discrimination can make sleep disorders worse among certain groups, including Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $1.1M in research to promote sleep health. This announcement builds on a $3.8M investment the Government of Canada and partners made in 2022 to support two interdisciplinary research teams that are studying sleep and sleep disorders as part of a Sleep Research Consortium. This additional funding will support a third team that is joining the consortium.

Led by Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen at the University of British Columbia, this team will prioritize equity as it relates to insomnia, sleep health, and public health interventions. Dr. Tomfohr-Madsen’s team will study how people’s identities, location, and access to services affect their quality of sleep, and what factors protect and improve sleep. The team will collaborate closely with people who have experienced sleep inequities, including Indigenous communities, to answer important questions about sleep.

The Government of Canada is supporting this research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with Eisai Limited and Mitacs.


“We know that proper sleep is essential to good health, yet the conditions for safe, quality, and restful sleep simply aren’t accessible to everyone. Dr. Tomfohr-Madsen’s research team will help us to deliver sleep-health resources where they are most urgently needed, including among Indigenous communities to improve better health outcomes for all.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Along with our partners, CIHR is thrilled to support this exciting addition to the Sleep Research Consortium. Dr. Tomfohr-Madsen’s research will help us to better understand sleep equity, improve sleep in at-risk populations, and improve the health of all people living in Canada. I am grateful to our valued partners Eisai Limited and Mitacs for helping bring our vision for this Consortium to life.”

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

“Good sleep is an essential building block for healthy living. When we think about inequities, we often don’t consider that not everyone has equal access to safe, quiet, calm environments that promote good sleep. Some people also experience more stressors that can negatively impact their mental health and sleep quality. With this investment in funds, our interdisciplinary team, composed of researchers, students and community partners, will better understand these factors.  We look forward to sharing the new knowledge and insights with all Canadians to advance sleep health equity on a national scale.”

Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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