Project Description

Dr. Shirley X. LI

PhD, DClinPsy, CPsychol

Associate Professor

Prof. LEE Tatia Mei-chun

Office: 6.63

Phone: (852) 3917-7035


HKU Researcher Page:

Research Lab:
Sleep Research Laboratory

Research Clinic:
Sleep Research Clinic


  • Honours. B.Sc (University of Toronto)
  • M.A. (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Ph.D (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • D.Clin.Psy (University College London)


Sleep disorders
Sleep and psychopathology
Sleep and cognition
Affective disorders, psychosis


Li SX, Chan NY, Yu MWM, Lam SP, Zhang J, Chan JWY, Li AM, Wing YK. Eveningness chronotype, insomnia symptoms and emotional and behavioural problems in adolescents. Sleep Medicine 2018;47:93-99.

Li SX, Lam SP, Zhang J, Yu MWM, Chan JWY, Chan CSY, Espie CA, Freeman D, Mason O, Wing YK. Sleep disturbances and suicide risk in an 8-year longitudinal study of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Sleep 2016;39:1275-1282.

Li SX, Lam SP, Zhang J, Yu MWM, Chan JWY, Liu Y, Lam VKH, Ho CKW, Zhou J, Wing YK. A prospective naturalistic follow-up study of treatment outcome with clonazepam in REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep Med 2016;21:114-120

Li SX, Lam SP, Wing YK. Looking beyond the sleep complaints: a link to suicidality. J Clin Psychiatry 2013;74:192.

Li SX, Lam SP, Chan JWY, Yu MWM, Wing YK. Residual sleep disturbances in patients remitted from major depressive disorder – A 4-year naturalistic follow-up study. Sleep 2012;35:1153-61.

Li SX, Yu MWM, Lam SP, Zhang J, Li AM, Lai KYC, Wing YK. Frequent nightmares in children: familial aggregation and associations with parent-reported behavioral and mood problems. Sleep 2011;34:487-493.

Li SX, Lam SP, Yu MWM, Zhang J, Wing YK. Nocturnal sleep disturbances as a predictor of suicide attempts among psychiatric outpatients. J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71:1440-6.

Li SX, Zhang B, Li AM, Wing YK. Prevalence and correlates of recurrent nightmares: a community-based two-phase study. Sleep 2010;33:774-80.

Li SX, Wing YK, Lam SP, et al. Validation of a new REM sleep behavior disorder questionnaire (RSBDQ-HK). Sleep Med 2010;11:43-8.

Sun W, Li SX, Wang G, Dong S, Jiang Y, Spruyt K, Ling J, Zhu Q, Lee TMC, Jiang F. Association of sleep and circadian activity rhythm with emotional face processing among 12-month-old infants. Scientific Reports 2018;8(1):3200.

Chan NY, Zhang J, Yu MWM, Lam SP, Li SX, Kong APS, Li AM, Wing YK. Impact of a modest delay in school start time in school adolescents. Sleep Medicine 2017,30:164-170.

Zhou J, Zhang J, Lam SP, Chan JWY, Mok V, Chan A, Li SX, Liu Y, Tang X, Yung WH, Wing YK. Excessive daytime sleepiness predicts neurodegeneration in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep 2017;40(5). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx041.

Zhang J, Liu Y, Lam SP, Li SX, Li AM, Wing YK. Relationship between insomnia and quality of life. Heart Mind 2017;1:50-5.

Zhang J, Chan NY, Lam SP, Li SX, Liu Y, Chan JWY, Kong APS, Ma RCW, Chan KCC, Li AM, Wing, YK. Emergence of sex differences in insomnia symptoms in adolescents: a large-scale school-based study. Sleep 2016 Apr 12. pii: sp-00724-15.

Liu Y, Zhang J, Lam SP, Yu MWM, Li SX, Zhou J, Chan JWY, Chan NY, Li AM, Wing YK. Help-seeking behaviors for insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese – A community-based study. Sleep Med 2016;21:106-113

Zhang J, Lam S, Kong APS, Ma RCW, Li SX, Chan WY, Yu MWM, Zhou J, Chan MHM, Ho C, Li AM, Tang X, Wing YK. Family conflict and lower morning cortisol in adolescents and adults: modulation of puberty. Sci Rep  2016 Mar 1;6:22531. doi: 10.1038/srep22531.

Chan NY, Lam SP, Zhang J, Yu MWM, Li SX, Li AM, Wing YK. Sleep education in Hong Kong. Sleep Biol Rhythms 2016;14:21-25.

Wing YK, Chan NY, Yu Man MW, Lam SP, Zhang J, Li SX, Kong AP, Li AM. A school-based sleep education program for adolescents: a cluster randomized trial. Pediatrics 2015;135:e635-43.

Wing YK, Lam SP, Zhang JH, Leung E, Ho CL, Chen, S, Cheung MK, Li SX, Chan JWY, Mok V, Tsoh J, Chan A, Ho CKW. Reduced striatal dopamine transmission in REM sleep behavior disorder co-morbid with depression, Neurology 2015;84:516-22.

Chan JW, Lam SP, Li SX, Yu MW, Chan NY, Zhang J, Wing YK. Eveningness and insomnia: independent risk factors of nonremission in major depressive disorder. Sleep 2014;37:911-7.

Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Ma RC, Kong AP, Chan MH, Ho CS, Li AM, Wing YK. A community-based study on the association between insomnia and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: sex and pubertal influences. J Clin Endocrinol Metal 2014; 99:2277-87.

Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Li AM, Kong AP, Wing Y. Restless legs symptoms in adolescents: Epidemiology, heritability, and pubertal effects. J Psychosom Res 2014;76:158-64.

Lam SP, Li SX, Zhang J, Wing YK. Development of scales for assessment of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Sleep Med 2013;14:734-8.

Lam SP, Li SX, Chan JWY, Mok V, Tsoh J, Chan A, Yu MWM, Lau CY, Zhang J, Lam V, Ho CK, Wing YK. Does REM sleep behavior disorder exist in psychiatric populations? A clinical and polysomnographic case-control study. Sleep Med 2013;14:788-94.

Wing YK, Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Tang NL, Lai KY, Li AM. Familial aggregation and heritability of insomnia in a community-based study. Sleep Med 2012;13:985-90.

Wing YK, Li SX, Mok V, Lam SP, Tsoh J, Chan A, Yu MWM, Lau CYK, Zhang J, Ho CKW. Prospective outcome of rapid eye movement sleep disorder: psychiatric disorders as a potential early marker of Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2012;83:470-2

Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Tang NL, Yu MWM, Li AM, Wing YK. Insomnia, sleep quality, pain and somatic symptoms: sex differences and shared genetic components. Pain 2012;153:666-73

Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Yu MWM, Li AM, Ma RCW, Kong ASP, Wing YK. Long-term outcomes and predictors of chronic insomnia: a prospective study in Hong Kong Chinese adults. Sleep Med 2012;13:455-62

Lam SP, Li SX, Mok V, Wing YK. Young-onset REM sleep behavior disorder: Beyond the antidepressant effect. Sleep Med 2012;13:211

Zhang J, Lam SP, Li SX, Li AM, Wing YK. The longitudinal course and impact of non-restorative sleep: a five-year community-based follow-up study. Sleep Med 2012;13:570-6.

Zhang J, Lam S, Li SX, Li AM, Lai KYC, Wing YK. Longitudinal course and outcome of chronic insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese children: A 5-year follow-up study of a community-based cohort. Sleep 2011;34:1395-1402.


  1. Parent-Based Sleep Education for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    This project aims to provide sleep education to support and equip parents of children with autism spectrum disorders with the necessary knowledge and strategies to manage their child’s sleep problems and help to improve their child’s sleep and health.
  1. Sleep for Health – A Community-based Sleep Health Promotion Programme
    The project aims to disseminate sleep-related health knowledge in the community in order to raise the public’s awareness towards the importance of sleep and to increase the public’s understanding about common sleep problems and adequate sleep hygiene practice


Research projects:

We have a series of research projects available for ambitious and highly motivated students who want to gain hands-on research experiences: 

1. Sleep and resilience
Main duties: scheduling and conducting interviews, conducting overnight polysomnographic (PSG) sleep assessment (PSG hook up, monitoring overnight PSG recording) and doing sample collection, administration of computerized tasks, data entry, and data management

2. Insomnia and anxiety treatment study in adolescents and young adults
Main duties: contacting research participants by telephone interview (adolescents), administering computerized tasks and questionnaires to the participants, data entry and data management

3. Comparison of group-based vs. digital treatment for insomnia in adolescents and young adults
Main duties: scheduling and conducting telephone interview (adolescents), administering computerized tasks and questionnaires to the participants, providing minimal guidance to participants in digital treatment, conducting overnight polysomnographic (PSG) sleep assessment (PSG hook up, monitoring overnight PSG recording), transcribing interviews, data entry and data management

4. Interventions (CBT and bright light therapy) for youth depression
Main duties: literature review, contacting research participants by telephone interview, administering computerized tasks and questionnaires to the participants, data entry and data management

Interns will be working collaboratively as a member of the research team, being involved in different aspects of the above research projects (e.g. conducting literature review, study recruitment, administering computerized tasks, data entry and data management). They will be expected to travel to the recruitment sites, and to attend and actively participate in supervision meetings and research meetings where we discuss our ongoing projects or the current issues in the field of sleep research. Interns may also participate in guided readings of the sleep-related literature.

Intern Selection:
Academic excellence
Highly motivated to gain research experiences and able to commit
Conscientious, organized and good interpersonal skills
Proficiency in both Chinese and English
Knowledge of Excel and SPSS is preferable

Interns may work in clinical settings, and as such must be mature, articulate and comfortable communicating with others. Successful candidates would also need to be able to demonstrate enthusiasm for the research being conducted, a strong work ethic and ability to work in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary team-oriented environment.

Priority will be given to the individuals who are flexible with schedule (preferably at least one day or no less than 10-12 hours per week) and with potential for longer term involvement. For the upcoming academic semester, being able to take up at least one overnight shift to monitor sleep assessment once a week may be expected for the interns.

How to apply:
If you are interested in joining us, please send an updated CV, transcript and personal statement to Dr Shirley Li (

For the research internship in summer 2023, potential applicants are encouraged to submit their application to Dr. Li in May 2023.





HKU Psychology