Western Kentucky University (WKU) has received a grant to study the sleep patterns of songbirds and investigate whether the findings can be used for human medical treatments, reports the WKU Herald.

Noah Ashley has been awarded a National Science Foundation research grant to study the sleep patterns of arctic songbirds in Barrow, Alaska.

The research will consist of studying two species of arctic breeding songbirds, snow buntings and Lapland longspurs, both of which exhibit extreme sleep patterns during the summer months, and their breeding season in Alaska.

The grant began on April 15 and will continue until 2021, with an expected total of $965,048.

This grant will not be the first time Ashley has studied the sleep patterns of birds, as his post-doctoral research was in regard to the bird’s circadian rhythm.

“Any mammal is going to synchronize their circadian rhythm to the light dark cycles, but during [the summer] there is no light dark cycle,” Ashley said.

View the full story at www.wkuherald.com