About Dr Rebecca Robillard

My current work aims to better understand the relation between sleep/circadian disturbances and psychiatric illnesses, notably to inform new treatment pathways.

I am working on characterising the circadian profile associated with various psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder. In these studies, we are collecting in-lab and ambulatory measures including polysomnography, Dim Light Melatonin Onset, core body temperature monitoring and actigraphy. I am also investigating how sleep/circadian disturbances relate to cognitive functioning, course of illness and response to treatment in patients with psychiatric diseases. One of our new studies focuses on the development of a circadian-based intervention program for early-onset depression and delayed sleep phase syndrome.

I have been involved in the sleep research field since 2002. I completed a PhD in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Montreal, where most of my work focussed on the impacts of ageing on sleep physiology and on the functional correlates of sleep loss in young and older adults. While working at the Centre for Advanced Research on Sleep Medicine in Canada, I co-supervised the work of undergraduate and postgraduate students. After moving to Australia, I recently started working in psychiatric sleep research at the Brain and Mind Research Institute with Professor Ian Hickie.

Selected publications

Robillard R, Lambert T, Whitwell B & NL Rogers. (2012), Are cardiometabolic and endocrine abnormalities linked to sleep difficulties in schizophrenia? A hypothesis driven review. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 10(1), 1-12.

Robillard R, Lambert T & NL Rogers (2011), Measuring sleep-wake patterns with physical activity and energy expenditure monitors. Biological Rhythm Research.

Robillard R, Prince F, Boissonneault M, Filipini D, Carrier J. (2011), Effects of increased homeostatic sleep pressure on postural control and their modulation by attentional resources. Clinical Neurophysiology, 122(9), 1771-1778. PMID: 21396885

Robillard R, Lanfranchi PA, Prince F, Filipini D, Carrie J. (2011), Sleep deprivation increases blood pressure in healthy normotensive elderly and attenuates the blood pressure response to orthostatic challenge. Sleep, 34(3), 335-339. PMID: 21358850

Robillard R, Massicotte-Marquez J, Kawinska A, Paquet J, Frenette S, Carrier J. (2010), Topography of homeostatic sleep pressure dissipation across the night in young and middle-aged men and women. Journal of Sleep Research, 19(3), 455-465. PMID: 20408933

Carrier J, Viens I, Poirier G, Robillard R, Lafortune M, Vandewalle G, Martin N, Barakat M, Paquet J, Filipini D. (2011), Sleep slow wave changes during the middle years of life. European Journal of Neuroscience, 33(4), 758-766. PMID: 21226772

Carrier J, Fernandez-Bolanos M, Robillard R, Dumont M, Paquet J, Selmaoui B, Filipini D. (2007), Effects of caffeine are more marked on daytime recovery sleep than on nocturnal sleep. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32(4), 964-972. PMID: 16936703

Drapeau C, Hamel-Hébert I, Robillard R, Selmaoui B, Filipini D, Carrier J. (2006), Challenging sleep in aging: the effects of 200 mg of caffeine during the evening in young and middle-aged moderate caffeine consumers. Journal of Sleep Research, 15(2), 133-141. PMID: 16704567

Robillard R, Prince F, Boissonneault M, Filipini D, Carrier J. (2011), Aging increases the impacts of sleep deprivation on postural control. PLoS ONE.Robillard R, Rogers NL, Whitwell B, Lambert T. Ambulatory sleep patterns and mood disturbances in patients with psychotic disorders. Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research 2010 Conference, Sydney, Australia, 5-8 December 2010 / 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting of Australasian Sleep Association, Christchurch, New Zealand, 21-23 October 2010.