Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and Its Disorders
A creative workshop series and art exhibition exploring the lived experience of sleep
Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and Its Disorders is a public engagement project led by Dr Diletta Cristofaro and funded by the Wellcome Trust (Research Enrichment – Public Engagement grant). Hosted by Northumbria University and run in partnership with The Sleep Charity, the project consists in a creative workshop series (February-April 2023), an online art exhibition (launching in November 2023), and resources.
Facilitating knowledge-sharing around sleep issues
Fostering well-being through creative expression
Increasing public understanding of sleep disorders and their impact
1. Workshop series
The project’s first phase was a creative workshop series (February-April 2023) for people experiencing sleep issues associated with parenting, ageing, and the menopause. In the workshops, members of the public came together with researchers and an artist to talk about lived experiences of sleep and sleep issues. We shared stories of sleep, discussed the impact of sleep disorders in our lives, and produced creative responses to sleep. You can find out more about the workshop series by watching the video below, or by reading this blog post about sleep and the menopause and this blog post about sleep and ageing.
2. Art exhibition
Creative responses co-produced by workshop participants with artist Chiara Dellerba will be published as part of the project’s second phase, an online exhibition to be launched in November 2023. The exhibition will also feature creativity prompts and a toolkit that will allow a wider audience to delve into their experiences of sleep. Responses submitted to these prompts will be added to the exhibition, creating an ever-expanding archive. So, even if you didn’t make our workshops, there will be opportunities to get involved further down the line!
Click on the buttons below to read more about the online workshops and explore some resources
All designs on this page by Chiara Dellerba.
Meet the Team
Dr Diletta De Cristofaro
Diletta is a Research Fellow at Northumbria University and leads the project. She is an expert in literary and cultural representations of sleep and facilitates all the online workshops.
Prof Jason Ellis
Jason is the Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. He has worked in sleep medicine for around 20 years. He facilitates the Sleep and Menopause online workshop.
Artist & Creative Producer
Chiara’s work focuses on ecology, slowing down and collective-care practices. She facilitates all the in-person workshops and curates the online exhibition.
Dr Pam Alfonso-Miller
Pam is Postgraduate Associate at Northumbria University and an expert in sleep medicine, with a particular focus on children. She facilitates the Sleep and Parenting online workshop.
Dr Greg Elder
Greg is Associate Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. His work on sleep is particularly concerned with healthy ageing. Greg facilitates the Sleep and Ageing online workshop.
Dr James Rákóczi
James is a researcher who works across the fields of literature, philosophy, disability studies, and critical medical humanities. He helps run the project.
Vicki is the Founder and CEO of The Sleep Charity, our partner on the project. She sits on the Board of the British Paediatric Sleep Association and has been involved in a number of research studies around sleep.
Lisa is the Deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity, our partner on the project. She has worked in the realm of sleep for more than 10 years and previously headed up The Sleep Council.