The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health is announcing to the community that they have partnered with Queen’s University to launch a sleep study in Akwesasne. The sleep study will be rolled out in three phases, beginning later this year. This sleep study will focus on insomnia, the most common sleep disorder.


Sleep problems are very common, and they can make life less enjoyable.  Fortunately, most sleep problems can be effectively treated. When people start sleeping well again, they feel much better.  “Insomnia” is trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This project aims to help community members with insomnia to sleep better using knowledge from sleep science in combination with knowledge from the community. The study will explore alternative methods to medications, such as a method called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) which involves scheduling sleep and other actions that work very well to get people sleeping again. CBT-I has proven to be effective in helping those who suffer from sleep disorders.


The overall goal of this research project is to help people to sleep without medication. The project involves hearing from many people in Akwesasne, including those who have had sleep problems and resources in the community, such as health and wellness providers. Together, we will co-design a program for Akwesasne healthcare providers to effectively treat insomnia, including the use of CBT-I, and then test whether this program works well to help people to sleep and feel better.


This 5-year research project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Sleep Research Consortium team grant. The research team will involve a team from Akwesasne and from Queen’s University:   

  • Ojistoh Horn (Physician, Akwesasne)   
  • Lisa Francis-Benedict (Community Liaison, Akwesasne)  
  • Research Advisory Council (Akwesasne community members)  
  • Judith Davidson (Queen’s University, Psychology)  
  • Amrita Roy (Queen’s University, Family Medicine) 


The research portion of the study will not begin until later this spring or summer. However, starting soon, we will be sending out some information and tips about healthy sleep. This will start on March 17th, which marks World Sleep Day.


If you are interested in learning more about the research, or healthy sleep information, you can contact Lisa Francis-Benedict at