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Dr Umair Akram

Dr Umair Akram PhD Psych, PDip Sleep Med, PCert, BSc Psych

Lecturer in Sleep & Mental Health


Summary

I competed my PhD at Northumbria University, examining cognition in insomnia. Following, I completed my PDip in Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford. Prior, I completed my BSc Psychology at the University of Hull. Currently a Psychology Lecturer at SHU. In addition, I serve as an Associate Editor for the journals: BMC Psychiatry and BMC Psychology (Springer Nature); and handling editor for Experimental Results (Cambridge University Press).

 

About

My research is primarily in the area of sleep medicine. Specifically, focusing on: the presence of cognitive biases, misperception of daytime functioning, and emotion dysregulation in insomnia; and the relationship between sleep and psychiatric difficulty. However, side interest is focused on understanding how Internet memes might serve as a coping mechanism for individuals experiencing psychiatric symptoms.Despite being relatively early career (approx. 5 years post-PhD), this has resulted in 45 publications in high impact peer reviewed journals and being invited to give a number of oral and poster presentations at leading overseas conferences in the field of sleep research.

My research skills span various cognitive neuropsychology and sleep-medicine methods including: EEG hook-up and analysis (AASM 10-20 electrode setup, and data scoring/interpretation of sleep disorders), actigraphy; eye-tracking; human tissue collection; and programming relevant perceptual and cognitive tasks. Moreover, I am also trained to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia and have expansive knowledge concerning the neurobiological mechanisms of sleep, and sleep architecture through the night.

I have taken part in a number of courses to expand existing knowledge in the area of sleep medicine including: The University of Pennsylvania’s basic and advanced training in cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia; the University of Edinburgh’s practical polysomnography training; the University of Oxford ‘Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Summer School’; and the 2015 Sleep Research Society’s ‘Annual Trainee Symposia Series’ in Seattle, and completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford in 2018. These courses have allowed me to develop further understanding of the nature of fundamental mechanisms underlying both normal sleep, and sleep disorders. Indeed, I have developed a final year module option entitled 'Sleep and Circadian Rhythms' for Level 6 BSc Psychology Students. More specifically, this module explores: the biological and neuropsychological processes of sleep and circadian rhythms across the lifespan; critically reviews theories posited to explain sleep and circadian rhythms; outlines subjective and objective sleep assessment; the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders; the relationship between psychiatric and physical illness; and consequences of sleep deprivation.

Research Funding:
Co-investigator: Consultancy contract for BrainTrain2020 Ltd, funded by Innovate UK. SleepCogni active-biofeedback treatment for sleep-onset insomnia. With Dr A. Ypsilanti & Dr L. Lazarus, £234,000.00.

Co-investigator: Consultancy contract for BrainTrain2020 Ltd. Validation of the SleepCogni device against research grade equipment across multiple physiological measures associated with sleep device. With Dr M. Thirkettle, Dr L. Spackman & Dr A. Ypsilanti, £16,690.80.

Sheffield Hallam University REFfund 2019. Evaluating the use of repeated priming to promote psychological well-being outcomes in university students, £4,777.00.

Sheffield Hallam University REFfund 2018. Examining the therapeutic effect of attentional bias modification for insomnia & examining the perception of emotional faces in insomnia, £5,884.55.

Education:
• PDip, Sleep Medicine (Taught). The University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Sept 2018 to 2020. Result: Merit.
• PhD, Psychology (Research). How individuals with insomnia perceive facial cues of tiredness.
• BSc, Psychology (Hons). Result: Upper Second Class. The University of Hull, Hull, UK. 2007 to 2010.

Continuing Education:
• Practical Polysomnography. (AASM 10-20 electrode setup, and data scoring/interpretation). The University of Edinburgh. June 2018.
• Principles and Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (basic and Advanced). Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. October 2017 - April 2018.

Lecturer

Subject Area 

Psychology, Sleep Medicine

 

Teaching

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

Social Sciences and Arts

Psychology Modules


 

Courses taught 

Level 4: Forensic Mental Health (Module Leader)
Level 6: Sleep & Circadian Rhythms (Module Leader)

Modules taught 

I have contributed to teaching on a wide range of modules including: Counselling and Psychotherapy; Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences; Forensic Mental Health; Cognition in Action, Psychological Research Design and Social and Affective Neuroscience modules. In addition, I previously co-lead the Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences and Abnormal psychology and Individual Differences modules. Currently I am the module leader for the level four module entitled Forensic Mental Health and the level six module option Sleep and Circadian Rhythms. 

 

Research

Current research projects 

Student Mental Health:

Gardani, M., Bradford, D. R. R., Russell, K., Allan, S., Beattie, L., Ellis, J., & Akram, U. (2022). A systematic review and meta-analysis of poor sleep, insomnia symptoms and stress in undergraduate students. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 61: 101565.

Stevenson, J., Irvine, K., Allen, S., & Akram, U. (2021). The interaction between suicidal ideation, insomnia symptoms, and student status. Experimental Results, 2: e33.

Akram, U., Ypsilanti, A., Gardani, M., Irvine, K., Allen, S., Akram, A., ... & Matuszyk, E. (2020). Prevalence and psychiatric correlates of suicidal ideation in UK university students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, 191-197.

Akram, U., Gardani, M., Irvine, K., Allen., Ypsilanti, A… Akram, A. (2020). Emotion dysregulation mediates the relationship between nightmares and psychotic experiences: results from a student population. Npj Schizophrenia, 6 Article 15

Akram, U., Akram, A., Gardani, M., Ypsilanti, A., McCarty, Allen, S. & Lazuras. (2019). The relationship between depression and insomnia symptoms amongst a sample of UK university students. Sleep Medicine Research, 10, 49-53.


Living with the neurological disability: Idiopathic Hypersomnia:

Akram, U. (2022). Teleworking during a pandemic: perspective of an idiopathic hypersomnia patient. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine [In Press].

Akram, U. (2020). A patients view of reclassifying idiopathic hypersomnia to narcolepsy type-3. Sleep, 43, zsaa134.


Sleep, Social & Self-Perception:
Akram et al., (2021). Homogeneity of cognitive and behavioural processes underlying the relationship between insomnia and body image disturbance. Cognitive Processing, 22: 701-09.

Akram, U., Allen, S., Stevenson, J. C., Lazarus, L., Ypsilanti, A., Ackroyd, M., ... & Irvine, K. R. (2022). Self-disgust as a potential mechanism underlying the association between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Journal of Affective Disorders, 297: 634-40.

Akram, U., & Stevenson, J. (2021). Self-disgust and the dark triad traits: the role of expressive suppression. Personality and Individual Differences, 168, 110296.

Akram, U., & Irvine, K. (2020). Depression Mediates Cutaneous Body Image and Facial Appearance Dissatisfaction in Insomnia. Sleep & Biological Rhythms, 18, 137-142.

Akram, U., Ypsilanti, A., Drabble, J. & Lazuras, L. (2019). The role of physical and behavioural self-disgust in relation to insomnia and suicidal ideation. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 15, 525-527.

Akram, U., Kay, S. & Fonquerine, Z. (2018). Qualitative examination of day-time monitoring and selective attention in insomnia. Sleep & Vigilance, 2, 149-155.

Akram, U., Robson, A., Ypsilanti, A. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for faces depicting tiredness in insomnia: evidence from an eye-tracking study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14, 959-65.

Ypsilanti, A., Lazarus, L., Robson, A., & Akram, U. Anxiety and depression mediate the relationship between self-disgust and insomnia disorder. Sleep Health, 4, 349-51.

Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A. J., & Barclay, N. L. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: evidence from a dot-probe paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103, 18-23

Akram, U (2017). The face of tiredness in insomnia: a focus on attentional and interpretive biases. Journal of Sleep Research, 27:e12657.

Akram, U (2017). Sleep-related monitoring on awakening mediates the relationship between cutaneous body image and insomnia symptoms. Sleep Science, 10, 92-95.

Akram, U., Ellis, J. G., Myachykov, A., & Barclay, N. L. (2017). Preferential attention towards the eye-region amongst individuals with insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 26, 84-91.

Akram, U., Ellis, J. G., Myachykov, A., & Barclay, N. L. (2016). Misperception of tiredness in young adults with insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 25, 466-474. 

Relevant projects

Sleep-Related Cognitive Biases of Attention and Interpretation In Insomnia:
Goal: Prominent cognitive models of insomnia have emphasized the notion that the disorder is in part maintained by an attentional and interpretive biases for sleep related “threat” cues which may be internal (i.e., bodily sensations) or external (i.e., environmental) in nature (Harvey, 2002; Espie et al., 2006). To support this proposition, a growing number of studies have examined the presence of a sleep-related attentional bias for words and images using experimental tasks including the dot-probe, flicker, Posner, emotional Stroop, and eye-tracking paradigms. While these studies provide encouraging evidence for the presence of cognitive biases in insomnia, the evidence base remains mixed with a number of studies yielding no statistically significant effects.

To that end, this ongoing project aims to further examine whether individuals with insomnia present sleep-related cognitive biases of attention and interpretation. Furthermore, we seek to determine which tasks and stimuli more prominently elicit such a bias. Based on our recent recommendations (Akram, Barclay & Milkins, 2018), we aim to explore candidate factors that may play a crucial role in addressing moderating questions such as “when,” “for whom” and “under which” conditions are sleep-related attentional biases evident in individuals characterized by insomnia.

Akram, U., Bickle, E., Howekk, C., Ozhan, V., Williamson, J., & DuRocher, A. (2021). Sleep-related monitoring on awakening mediates the relationship between insomnia related interpretive bias and insomnia symptoms using the insomnia ambiguity paradigm. Journal of Sleep Research, 30: e13343.

Akram, U., Barclay, N. B. & Milkins, B. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias in insomnia: time to examine moderating factors?. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:2573; 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02573

Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A. J., & Barclay, N. L. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: evidence from a dot-probe paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103,

Akram, U., Robson, A., Ypsilanti, A. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for faces depicting tiredness in insomnia: evidence from an eye-tracking study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14, 959-65.

Akram, U (2017). The face of tiredness in insomnia: a focus on attentional and interpretive biases. Journal of Sleep Research, 27:e12657.

Akram, U., Ellis, J. G., Myachykov, A., & Barclay, N. L. (2016). Misperception of tiredness in young adults with insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 25, 466-474.

Mental Health and Internet Memes:
Goal: The goal of this project is to explore: the possible role of internet memes related to mental health difficulties as a coping mechanism for those with corresponding difficulties; and to determine the mechanisms which underlie the relationship between mental health difficulties and meme use.

Akram, U., Drabble, J., Cau, G., Hersharw, F., Rajenthran, A., Lowe, M., Trommelen, C., & Ellis, J. G. (2020). Exploratory Study On The Role Of Emotion Regulation In Perceived Valence, Humour, And Beneficial Use Of Depressive Internet Memes In Depression. Scientific Reports. 10.1038/s41598-020-57953-4.

Akram, U., Ellis, J., Cau, G., Hershaw, F., Rajenthran, A.A… Drabble, J. (2020). Eye tracking and attentional bias for depressive internet memes in depression. Experimental Brain Research, 239: 575-81.

Gardner, K.J., Jabs., Drabble., & Akram, U. (2021). Humour styles influence the perception of depression-related internet memes in depression. Humor, 34: 497-517.

Akram, U., Irvinve, K., Allen, S., Stevenson, J., Ellis, J.G., & Drabble, J. (2021). Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety. Scientific Reports, 11: 22305.

Past collaborators 

Past Advisors (PhD):
• Dr Nicola Barclay, University of Oxford, UK.
• Prof Jason Ellis, Northumbria University, UK.
• Dr Andriy Myachykov, Northumbria University, UK.

Previous Research Assistants
• Anna Robson, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
• Dr Caroline Jordan, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
• Dr Meghann Matthews, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
• Dr Jodie Stevenson, University of Lincoln, UK.

Current Research Assistants
• Glhenda Cau, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Research Collaborators:
• Prof Jason Ellis, Northumbria University, UK.
• Dr Andriy Myachykov, Northumbria University, UK.
• Dr Greg J Elder, Northumbria University, UK.
• Dr Zoe Marie Gotts, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK.
• Dr Kamila Irvine, University of Lincoln, UK.
• Dr Jodie Stevenson, University of Lincoln, UK.
• Dr Maria Gardani, University of Edinburgh, UK.
• Dr Sarah Allen, Teesside University, UK.
• Dr Nicola Barclay, University of Oxford, UK.
• Dr Rachel Sharman, University of Oxford, UK.
• Dr Simon Kyle, University of Oxford, UK.
• Dr Kathryn Gardner, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
• Dr Asha Akram, University of Sheffield, UK.
• Dr Louise Beattie, University of Glasgow, UK.
• Dr Kirsten Russell, University of Strathclyde, UK.
• Dr Louise Beattie, University of Glasgow, UK.
• Dr Louise Beattie, University of Glasgow, UK.
• Dr Anna Johann, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Dr Kai Speigelhalder, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Prof Dieter Riemannn, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Dr Bernd Feige, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Dr Elisabeth Schramm, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Dr Chiara Baglioni, University Medical Center Freiburg, GM.
• Dr Elisabeth Hertenstein, Universität Bern, GM.
• Dr Christoph Nissen, Universität Bern, GM.
• Dr Bronwyn Milkins, University of Western Australia, AUS.

 

Publications

Journal articles

Akram, U. (2022). Teleworking during a pandemic: perspective of an idiopathic hypersomnia patient. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.9902

Akram, U., Allen, S., Stevenson, J., Lazarus, L., Ypsilanti, A., Ackroyd, M., ... Irvine, K. (2022). Self-Disgust as a Potential Mechanism Underlying the Association Between Body Image Disturbance and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours. Journal of Affective Disorders, 297, 634-640. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.10.063

Akram, U., Allen, S.F., Stevenson, J., Lazuras, L., Ackroyd, M., Chester, J., ... Irvine, K.R. (2021). Homogeneity of cognitive and behavioural processes underlying the relationship between insomnia and body image disturbance. Cognitive Processing, 22 (4), 701-709. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-021-01039-0

Stevenson, J., Irvine, K., Allen, S., & Akram, U. (2021). The Interaction Between Suicidal Ideation, Insomnia Symptoms, and Student Status. Experimental Results, 2 (e33). http://doi.org/10.1017/exp.2021.25

Akram, U., Irvine, K., Allen, S., Stevenson, J., Ellis, J., & Drabble, J. (2021). Internet Memes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Potential Coping Mechanism for Anxiety. Scientific Reports. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00857-8

Gardani, M., Bradford, D., Russell, K., Allan, S., Beattie, L., Ellis, J., & Akram, U. (2021). A systematic review and meta-analysis of poor sleep, insomnia symptoms and stress in undergraduate students. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 101565. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101565

Akram, U., Bickle, E., Howell, C., Ozhan, V., Williamson, J., & Rocher, A. (2021). Sleep‐related monitoring on awakening mediates the relationship between insomnia‐related interpretive bias and insomnia symptoms using the insomnia ambiguity paradigm. Journal of Sleep Research, 30 (5). http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13343

Gardner, K., Jabs, N.-.M., Drabble, J., & Akram, U. (2021). Humour styles influence the perception of depression-related internet memes in depression. Humor: international journal of humor research. http://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2021-0045

Allen, S., Stevenson, J., Lazuras, L., & Akram, U. (2021). The role of the COVID-19 pandemic in altered psychological well-being, mental health and sleep: An online cross-sectional study. Psychology, Health and Medicine. http://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2021.1916963

Akram, U., Ellis, J., Cau, G., Hershaw, F., Rajenthran, A.A., Lowe, M., ... Drabble, J. (2021). Eye tracking and attentional bias for depressive internet memes in depression. Experimental Brain Research, 239, 575-581. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-020-06001-8

Allen, S.F., Gardani, M., Akram, A., Irvine, K.R., & Akram, U. (2020). Examining the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the disturbing dreams and nightmare severity index (DDNSI) consequences sub-component. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 1-12. http://doi.org/10.1080/15402002.2020.1862848

Akram, U. (2020). Perceptual Differences in Emotionally Ambiguous Neutral Faces Among Individuals Displaying Clinically Significant Insomnia Symptoms. Perception, 49 (10), 1090-1100. http://doi.org/10.1177/0301006620954113

Akram, U., & Stevenson, J. (2020). Self-Disgust and the Dark Triad Traits: The Role of Expressive Suppression. Personality and Individual Differences, 168, 110296. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110296

Akram, U. (2020). A Patients View on Reclassifying Idiopathic Hypersomnia to Narcolepsy Type-3. Sleep. http://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa134

Akram, U., Ypsilanti, A., Gardani, M., Irvine, K., Allen, S., Akram, A., ... Lazuras, L. (2020). Prevalence and psychiatric correlates of suicidal ideation in UK university students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, 191-197. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.185

Johann, A.F., Hertenstein, E., Feige, B., Akram, U., Holub, F., Baglioni, C., ... Spiegelhalder, K. (2020). Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia does not appear to have a substantial impact on early markers of cardiovascular disease: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. Journal of Sleep Research. http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13102

Akram, U., Gardani, M., Irvine, K., Allen, S., Ypsilanti, A., Lazuras, L., ... Akram, A. (2020). Emotion dysregulation mediates the relationship between nightmares and psychotic experiences: Results from a student population. npj Schizophrenia, 6, 15. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41537-020-0103-y

Akram, U., & Irvine, K. (2020). Depression mediates cutaneous body image and facial appearance dissatisfaction in insomnia. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 18 (2), 137-142. http://doi.org/10.1007/s41105-020-00254-0

Akram, U., Gardani, M., Riemann, D., Akram, A., Allen, S.F., Lazuras, L., & Johann, A.F. (2020). Dysfunctional sleep-related cognition and anxiety mediate the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and insomnia symptoms. Cognitive Processing, 21 (1), 141-148. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-019-00937-8

Akram, U., Drabble, J., Cau, G., Hershaw, F., Ashileen, R., Loew, M., ... Ellis, J. (2020). Exploratory Study On The Role Of Emotion Regulation In Perceived Valence, Humour, And Beneficial Use Of Depressive Internet Memes In Depression. Scientific Reports, 10. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57953-4

Barclay, N., Rowley, S., Robson, A., Akram, U., & Myachykov, A. (2019). Sleep duration, sleep variability, and impairments of visual attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1177/1747021819895771

Akram, U., Stevenson, J.C., Gardani, M., Akram, A., & Allen, S. (2019). Psychopathy and chronotype disposition: the mediating role of depression. Heliyon, 5 (11), e02894. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02894

Akram, U., Akram, A., Gardani, M., Ypsilanti, A., McCarty, K., Allen, S., & Lazuras, L. (2019). The relationship between depression and insomnia symptoms amongst a sample of UK university students. Sleep medicine research, 10 (1), 49-53. http://doi.org/10.17241/smr.2019.00332

Akram, U., Gardani, M., Akram, A., & Allen, S. (2019). Anxiety and depression mediate the relationship between insomnia symptoms and the personality traits of conscientiousness and emotional stability. Heliyon, 5 (6), e01939. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01939

Akram, U., Ypsilanti, A., Drabble, J., & Lazuras, L. (2019). The role of physical and behavioural self-disgust in relation to insomnia and suicidal ideation. Journal of clinical sleep medicine, 15 (3), 525-527. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7698

Allen, S., Akram, U., & Ellis, J. (2019). Examination of Sleep Health dimensions and their associations with perceived stress and health in a UK sample. Journal of public health. http://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdz016

Akram, U. (2019). Categorisation deficit of facially expressed anger in insomnia: Commentary on Zhang et al. Individuals with insomnia misrecognize angry faces as fearful faces while missing the eyes: An eye-tracking study. Sleep, 42 (2). http://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz012

Akram, U., Barclay, N.L., & Bronwyn, M. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias in insomnia: time to examine moderating factors? Frontiers in psychology, 9. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02573

Akram, U., Kay, S., & Fonquerine, Z. (2018). Qualitative Examination of Daytime Monitoring and Selective Attention in Insomnia. Sleep and Vigilance, 2 (2), 149-155. http://doi.org/10.1007/s41782-018-0049-6

Akram, U. (2018). Everything at once, or nothing at all. Schizophrenia bulletin. http://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sby161

Akram, U., Milkins, B., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Lazuras, L., Stevenson, J., ... Barclay, N.L. (2018). The therapeutic potential of attentionalbias modification training for insomnia: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 19. http://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-018-2937-4

Allen, S.F., Elder, G.J., Longstaff, L.F., Gotts, Z.M., Sharman, R., Akram, U., & Ellis, J.G. (2018). Exploration of potential objective and subjective daily indicators of sleep health in normal sleepers. Nature and Science of Sleep, 10, 303-312. http://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S168841

Akram, U., Allen, S., McCarty, K., Gardani, M., Tan, A., Villarreal, D., ... Akram, A. (2018). The relationship between insomnia symptoms and the dark triad personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 131, 212-215. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.05.001

Ypsilanti, A., Lazuras, L., Robson, A., & Akram, U. (2018). Anxiety and depression mediate the relationship between self-disgust and insomnia disorder. Sleep Health, 4 (4), 349-351. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2018.06.001

Akram, U., McCarty, K., Akram, A., Gardani, M., Tan, A., Villarreal, D., ... Allen, S. (2018). The relationship between type D personality and insomnia. Sleep Health, 4 (4), 315-384. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2018.04.005

Akram, U., Robson, A., & Ypsilanti, A. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for faces depicting tiredness in insomnia: evidence from an eye-tracking study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14 (06), 959-965. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7160

Akram, U. (2018). The face of tiredness in insomnia from the self-perspective : a focus on attentional and interpretative biases. Journal Of Sleep Research, 27 (3), e12657. http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12657

Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A.J., & Barclay, N.L. (2018). Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: Evidence from a dot-probe paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103, 18-23. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2018.01.007

Akram, U. (2018). Objective Sleep and Personality. Journal of clinical sleep medicine, 14 (3), 485-486. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7010

Akram, U. (2018). Objective sleep and personality : commentary on Johann et al. Perfectionism and Polysomnography-Determined Markers of Poor Sleep. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14 (3), 485-486. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7010

Akram, U., Sharman, R., & Newman, A. (2018). Altered perception of facially expressed tiredness in insomnia. Perception, 47 (1), 105-111. http://doi.org/10.1177/0301006617725241

Akram, U. (2017). Sleep associated monitoring on awakening mediates the relationship between cutaneous body image dissatisfaction and insomnia symptoms. Sleep Science, 10 (2), 92-95. http://doi.org/10.5935/1984-0063.20170017

Akram, U., Ellis, J.G., Myachykov, A., & Barclay, N.L. (2017). Preferential attention towards the eye-region amongst individuals with insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 26 (1), 84-91. http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12456

Akram, U., Ellis, J.G., Myachykov, A., & Barclay, N.L. (2016). Misperception of tiredness in young adults with insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 25 (4), 466-474. http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12395

Akram, U., Ellis, J.G., Myachykov, A., Chapman, A.J., & Barclay, N.L. (2016). Anxiety mediates the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and insomnia disorder. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 82-86. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.07.042

Takei, N., Akram, U., Ellis, J.G., & Barclay, N.L. (2015). Anxiety mediates the relationship between perfectionism and insomnia symptoms: A longitudinal study. PLOS ONE, 10 (10), e0138865. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138865

Other activities

Editorial Roles:
I serve as an associate editor for the journals: BMC Psychiatry and BMC Psychology (Springer Nature); and handling editor for Experimental Results (Cambridge University Press). These roles include the initial evaluation of submitted manuscripts, inviting appropriate reviewers, compiling feedback whilst providing my own to make a final decision. To date, I have handled nine manuscripts.

Visiting Lecture Roles:
I have contributed to the University of Oxford's MSc Sleep Medicine, invited to provide the “Sleep and socio-emotional function and social interaction” lecture, reading list and summative questions. I have also acted as a Visiting Lecturer on Northumbria University's BSc Psychology Level Six Sleep and Circadian Rhythms module.

Peer Review:
I peer reviewer for the following journals: BMJ; BMC Psychiatry; BMC Psychology; Chronobiology International; Current Psychology; Journal of Adolescence; Neuroscience & Neurobehavioral Reviews; Nature and Science of Sleep; Psychiatry Research; Journal of Psychiatric Research; Personality and Individual Differences; Psychology Research and Behaviour Management; Qualitative Health Research; Sleep Medicine Reviews; Scientific Reports, SLEEP, Sleep Health; Sleep Science & Practice; Journal of Clinical Psychology; Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine; Journal of Clinical Neuroscience; Journal of Sleep Research; Journal of Public Health; Plos One; Trials; and BMJ Open.

 

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise research projects on the BSc Psychology, MSc Psychology, MSc Developmental Psychology and MSc Clinical & Cognitive Neuroscience Courses.

Publication of Student Projects:
• All N=21 of my undergraduate studies gained at least one publication based on their final year project, with N=11 gaining two. A rate of 100%.

• N=14 MSc students, N=5 students have gained two papers and N=5 a single paper. A rate of 71.4%.

Past MSc Psychology and MSc Clinical & Cognitive Neuroscience Students:

2020/21 
Akram, U., Bickle, E., Howekk, C., Ozhan, V., Williamson, J., & DuRocher, A. (2021). Sleep-related monitoring on awakening mediates the relationship between insomnia related interpretive bias and insomnia symptoms using the insomnia ambiguity paradigm. Journal of Sleep Research, 30: e13343.

• Eleanor Bickle
• Carley Howell
• Vildan Ozhan
• Jessica Williamson

2019/20 -
Akram, U., Drabble, J., Cau, G., Hersharw, F., Rajenthran, A., Lowe, M., Trommelen, C., & Ellis, J. G. (2020). Exploratory Study On The Role Of Emotion Regulation In Perceived Valence, Humour, And Beneficial Use Of Depressive Internet Memes In Depression. Scientific Reports. 10.1038/s41598-020-57953-4.

Akram, U., Ellis, J., Cau, G., Hershaw, F., Rajenthran, A.A… Drabble, J. (2020). Eye tracking and attentional bias for depressive internet memes in depression. Experimental Brain Research, 239: 575-81.

• Glhenda Cau
• Frayer Hershaw
• Ashileen Arriveena Rajenthran
• Molle Lowe
• Carissa Trommelen

2018/19
• Harriet Hinsley
• Jenny Morgan

Past BSc Psychology Students:

2020/21
Akram, U., Allen, S., Stevenson, J. C., Lazarus, L., Ypsilanti, A., Ackroyd, M., ... & Irvine, K. R. (2022). Self-disgust as a potential mechanism underlying the association between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Journal of Affective Disorders, 297: 634-40.

Akram et al., (2021). Homogeneity of cognitive and behavioural processes underlying the relationship between insomnia and body image disturbance. Cognitive Processing, 22: 701-09.

• Millicent Ackroyd
• Jessica Chester
• Jessica Longden
• Chloe Peters

2019/20
Akram, U., Ypsilanti, A., Gardani, M., Irvine, K., Allen, S., Akram, A., ... & Matuszyk, E. (2020). Prevalence and psychiatric correlates of suicidal ideation in UK university students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, 191-197.

• Eleanor Bickle
• Lauren Abigail Kaye
• Damian Lipinski
• Eva Matuszyk
• Helia Sarlak
• Ellie Steedman

2018/19
Akram, U., McCarty, K., Akram, A., Gardani, M., Tan., A…& Allen, S. The relationship between type-d personality and insomnia. Sleep Health, 4, 360-63.

Akram, U., Allen, S., McCarty, K., Gardani., M., Tan, A., …& Akram, A. The relationship between insomnia symptoms and the dark triad personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 131, 121-15.

• Alice Pui Yi
• Dan Villarreal
• Emily Bilsborough
• Grace Dooher
• Grace Gibbs
• Jess Hudson
• Rachel Mills
• Viknesh Subramaniam

Akram, U., Kay, S. & Fonquerine, Z. (2018). Qualitative examination of day-time monitoring and selective attention in insomnia. Sleep & Vigilance, 2, 149-155.

• Shannon Kay
• Zoe Fonquerine

 

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