Personal profile


Shantha is Professor of Sleep and Circadian Medicine, Head of the School of Psychological Sciences. He is Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He is Chair of the Monash Sleep Network.

His primary research interest is in the field of sleep and circadian rhythms, and its application to occupational and clinical settings.

Sleep is increasingly recognised as the third pillar of good health, along side diet and exercise. Poor sleep quality and sleep deficiency are linked to a number of serious health problems, including depression and cardiovascular disease, as well as impaired alertness and neurocognitive functioning, reduced productivity and increased accident risk.

Shantha's research program aims to investigate the role of the internal biological clock in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, and how disruption of the clock leads to sleep disorders and other physiological consequences (for example, in shift workers). His group is developing novel treatment approaches for sleep disorders that are caused by biological clock disruption. These include light and melatonin treatments. The group is also investigating the contribution of sleep disturbances and fatigue to mood disorders and impaired cognition in clinical populations.

Sleep loss and impaired alertness adversely affect occupational safety, health and productivity, and also road safety. About 20 percent of serious car crash injuries are associated with driver sleepiness. Shantha's research is examining innovative technologies to monitor alertness in occupational and transportations settings, and is developing and testing intervention strategies aimed at reducing the burden associated with impaired alertness in these contexts.

Sleep and ciradian health offer an opportunity to implement a preventive health approach that is grounded in neuroscience and strongly evidence based. This is based on the extensive evidenced that poor sleep and circadian health lead to other major adverse health and wellbeing outcomes, and interventions to improve sleep and circadian health are known to lead to improvements in overall health and wellbeing.

Community service

2020-present Iterim Research Director and bid coordinator, Well and Productive CRC

2020-present Chair, Sleep Health Foundation

2020-present Chair, Working Group for the International Association of Circadian Health Clinics

2016-2020 Board Member, Sleep Health Foundation

2013-2020 Program Leader, Alertness CRC

2011-2014 President, Australasian Sleep Association

2007-present Chair, Monash Sleep Network

Research interests

  • The role of sleep and circadian health on workplace health, productivity and safety
  • Development and evaluation of interventions for sleep and circadian disruption in occupational and clinical settings
  • Role of the circadian clock in regulating mood and cognitive function
  • Effects of light, melatonin and melatonin agonists on sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Legal issues relating to sleep loss and sleepiness


Monash teaching commitment

2011-2014 Director of Undergraduate Programs, School of Psychology and Psychiatry

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 29 Mar 2000


Award Date: 11 Mar 1998

Psychology, BSc(Hons), MONASH UNIVERSITY

Award Date: 20 Apr 1994

External positions

Associate Neuroscientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital Inc

1 Jul 2004 → …

Lecturer in Medicine (academic, part-time), Harvard Medical School

1 Jul 2004 → …

Research area keywords

  • Circadian rhythms
  • Workplace mental health
  • Light
  • Melatonin
  • Shift work
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Loss
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleepiness-related crashes
  • Fatigue
  • Mood Disorders
  • Depression
  • Cognitive Function
  • Occupational Health and Safety

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or