Recent and Ongoing Research Projects
Sleep and Its Association with Impulsivity and Future Orientation: This study was done in collaboration with Landmark College in Vermont. We examined whether symptoms of ADHD predicted impulsivity and/or future orientation indirectly through sleep (quantity, quality, consistency, risk for a sleep disorder, or daytime sleepiness).
Sleep and Use of Effective Memory Strategies: Sleep seems to play an important role in the consolidation of memory. This study of children’s memory and their use of effortful but effective memory strategies as a function of daytime sleepiness. Do sleepy people employ the same number of effortful memory strategies as those who are more alert? If not, is it because they are less motivated, have slower information processing, or do they employ the strategies but don’t benefit from them?
The Freshman 15 Project examines sleep patterns as a independent risk factor for the notorious “freshman fifteen” weight gain above and beyond known contributors such as loss of sports participation, diet, sedentary behavior, and alcohol use. Participants complete a series of surveys, followed by a DEXA body scan, finger stick blood samples, blood pressure measures, and a week of sleep monitoring.
The Military Health Project examines mandibular advancement devices as novel tools for improving sleep, health, and psychological wellness among military veterans. Upon receiving an inter-institutional planning grant, our specialized team includes a health psychologist, dentist, sleep consultants, biostatistician, and expert in military health and VA administrative structure that are currently working to forge partnerships with local VAs to begin data collection.
Dave is currently studying the effects that sleep has on desensitization of phobic stimuli, particularly arachnophobia, using virtual reality and photographic exposure. Self-reported levels of anxiety are collected along with behavioral and physiological data using galvanic skin response and behavioral avoidance. Research suggests that memory, particularly emotional memory, is consolidated in sleep. It is expected that individuals that sleep after exposure will have less arousal when re-exposed than their peers that do not have an intervening period of sleep.
Aria is currently studying racial, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in sleep attitudes predicting sleep duration and sleep quality. This study recruited participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We were interested in seeing how sleep attitudes varied according to people’s backgrounds, and how this subsequently impacted sleep outcomes that are known to be associated with health problems, especially in already disadvantaged populations.
University Level Football Players at Risk for Sleep Disordered Breathing: Research findings have indicated that professional football players, especially linemen, are at risk for sleep disordered breathing (SDB). The greater upper body mass and neck circumference valued among linemen are also risk factors for SDB. This recently published study found that, based on self-report and objectively measured physical characteristics, this heightened risk is also found among linemen at the university level.
Peck, B. Peach, H., Gaultney, J. F., & Marino, J. (2017). Risk for sleep disordered breathing among college football players. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, (online prior to publication). doi: 10.1123/jsr.2017-0127