Participate in a Study!Research Projects

Our lab has a large number of ongoing research projects! Here is a list of most of the projects we are working on:




Nogales Cardiometabolic Health and Sleep (NoCHeS) Study

This project aims to understand sleep health at the US-Mexico border, the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that play a role in sleep health in this region, and the impacts of sleep on risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This study will enroll about 1,100 people from the Nogales, AZ area. This study is being conducted in partnership with the Mariposa Community Health Centers and the promotoras de salud program.

Other researchers involved with this project include Dr. John Ruiz (University of Arizona College of Science), Dr. Patricia Haynes (University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health), Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy (University of Arizona College of Medicine), Maia Ingram (University of Arizona Prevention Research Center), Dr. Orfeu Buxton (Penn State University), and Dr. Sanjay Patel (University of Pittsburgh).

We are currently recruiting for this study! If you are an adult and live in Santa Cruz county in Arizona, you may be eligible. For questions, contact Marcos Delgadillo.

This study is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (R01MD01160).




Wellness Intervention for Smoking and Health (WISH) Study

This project aims to improve smoking cessation efforts in adults with HIV. This study compares two different strategies -- both of which include free access to a 15-week smoking cessation program overseen by a psychologist, as well as medical treatment with verinicline. In addition to this, participants will also receive either an additional general health promotion intervention or a specific sleep health promotion intervention. We will assess whether the sleep program differs from the regular health program in terms of promoting quitting and absitinence from smoking. We will also be evaluating the effects on health and daytime function.

This study is co-led by Dr. Grandner, Dr. Elizabeth Connick (University of Arizona, Division of Infectious Diseases) and Dr. Freda Patterson (University of Delaware).

We are currently recruiting adults living with HIV who are smokers. For more information, contact Ryan Weltzer.

This study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA051321) of the National Institutes of Health.



Phototherapy Observational Trial to Optimize Neurorelaxation and Sleep (PHOTONS) Study

This project aims to test a new device to determine whether it is useful for promoting neurorelaxation and sleep. It is a new device, not yet on the market, that uses a phototherapy approach. Participants wear it at night and track sleep-related outcomes..

We are currently recruiting adults with sleep difficulties (but not sleep disorders) for this study. For more information, contact Kat Kennedy.

This study is funded by CeraZ, the developers of the device.




Addressing Nocturnal Sleep-Wake Effects on Risk for Suicide (ANSWERS)

This project includes several studies aimed to explore relationships between suicide risk and aspects of sleep-wake rhythms. In particular, we are exploring how sleep-related issues are important suicide risk factors and how these issues confer risk. We are specifically focusing on nocturnal wakefulness as a novel risk factor for suicide risk.

Several studies included in this project are:

  • Population-level analysis of sleep-wake factors in suicide risk, using existing datasets such as the National Violent Death Reporting System, the National Health Interview Survey, and others.
  • ANSWERS-OA trial, examining the efficacy of an online insomnia intervention for reducing nocturnal wakefulness and suicide ideation in older adults.
  • ANSWERS-College study, examining relationships between sleep-wake factors and suicide and self-injury risk factors among college students.
  • ANSWERS-MSRC study, examining relationships between sleep-wake and suicide-related risk factors in military populations.

This work is co-led by Dr. Grandner, with Dr. Fabian-Xose Fernandez (University of Arizona, Department of Psychology) and Dr. Michael Perlis (University of Pennsylvania). Collaborators include Dr. Jordan Karp (University of Arizona, Department of Psychiatry), Dr. Scott Killgore (University of Arizona, Department of Psychiatry), Dr. John Allen (University of Arizona, Department of Psychology), Dr. Elizabeth Klerman (Harvard University), Dr. Darren Mansfield (Monash University), and Dr. Subhajit Chakravorty (University of Pennsylvania).

We are currently recruiting particpants for some of the ANSWERS projects, so please reach out to Andrew Tubbs if interested.

Aspects of this work have been funded by the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and internal grants from the University of Arizona.




Project REST: Recovery Enhancement and Sleep Training

We are examining a novel set of strategies for improving real-world sleep health in college students who are overworked, overscheduled, and have difficulty getting optimal sleep. These strategies include education, online learning, tracking, peer support, and other elements to provide a comprehensive, adaptable, flexible sleep promotion program.

Due to COVID, all Project REST programs are currently paused.

These studies are funded by the National Colleguate Athletics Association Sport Science Institute and/or the University of Arizona.




Hawaiian Islands Sleep and Health Study

This study aims to provide important information about how sleep health is related to social environmental stress, as well as cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders living on Oahu. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Allyson Gilles at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu.

This study is currently ongoing and recruiting from the Oahu community.

This study is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.




Motivations of Doctor-patient Evaluations of Sleepiness and Tiredness (MODEST Study)

It is focused on the question of how real-world individuals experience and respond to daytime sleepiness. This study contains two parts. The first part of the study is an examination of collunity-level data to examine the social, behavioral, and environmental correlates of sleepiness in the population. It addition, this part of the study will examine the degree to which daytime sleepiness represents an independent health risk factor. The second part of the study involves a mixed-methods study involving focus groups, surveys, and educational materials, designed to better understand how individuals relate to sleepiness and tiredness, what would motivate them to consider it as a medical condition, and whether an educational message could change these perceptions.

This study is currently ongoing, but all recruitment is complete. Results are forthcoming.

This study was funded by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.




Hypknowledge: Technology Development and Validation

This project involves the development and refinement of a tech-based strategy for improving real-world sleep. Many individuals might want to get more, better sleep but may not know how to achieve this. The hypknowledge platform is designed to take real-world people (without sleep disorders) and help them optimize their sleep. It uses sleep tracking strategies and a decision engine to predict what small change an individual should make to their sleep, with the goal of eventual sleep optimization. It uses a set of algorithms to to optimize sleep slowly over time and is individuallytailored, self-correcting, and able to be deployed at scale. We are currently working on further refining and testing this platform.

This work is in collaboration with Dr. Michael Perlis (University of Pennsylvania).

Another hypknowledge trial will be starting up soon!

This work is funded by the University of Arizona and the University of Pennsylvania.




EBB/FLOW: Examining Blue Blockers For Light Optimization and Wearability

This project is being led by grad student Brooke Mason. It has two parts. First, we are examining the spectrophotometric properties of a wide range of commercially-available blue-blocking glasses, under a range of conditions. Then, we will be deploying various glasses in real-world conditions to better understand how they are used, how they impact sleep and circadian rhythms, and how they impact functioning and productivity.

Collaborators on this work include Dr. Fabian-Xose Fernandez (University of Arizona, Department of Psychology), Dr. Scott Killgore (University of Arizona, Department of Psychiatry), and Dr. Stanley Pau (University of Arizona, Department of Optical Sciences).

This study is ongoing and will start recruiting for the real-world study soon! If interested, reach out to Brooke Mason.

This work is supported internal grants from the University of Arizona.




Cardiometabolic Health And Relationships To Sleep (CHARTS Study)

The overall aim of this observational study was to evaluate whether habitual short sleepers (6 hours or less) differ from 7-8 hour sleepers in terms of cardiovascular and metabolic function. Other domains are assessed as well, including sleepiness, performance, behavior, and psychological functioning. This study includes (1) an online survey, (2) an intake exam, (3) home sleep testing, (4) 2-week home monitoring, and (5) 3-night in-lab study.

Collaborators on this project include Dr. Allan Pack (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Michael Perlis (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy (University of Arizona College of Medicine), Dr. Scott Killgore (University of Arizona College of Medicine).

This study is no longer recruiting. Data analysis is ongoing.

This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (K23HL110216).




Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Social Factors (SHADES Study)

The overall aim of this study is to characterize the social, environmental, and behavioral determinants of habitual short sleep duration. This study was comprised of an extensive survey that included over 1000 adults in the Philadelphia area.

Collaborators on this study included Dr. Nirav Patel (Reading Hospital), Dr. Lauren Hale (Stony Brook University), Dr. Charles Branas (Columbia University), and Dr. Michael Perlis (University of Pennsylvania).

Data collection is completed and analyses are ongoing.

This study is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (R21ES022931).




COrona Virus and Impact on Dreams (COVID) Study

This web-based survey study aims to understand how the coronavirus, COVID-19, and the resultant pandemic is impacting the experience of dreams in the population. It is an unfunded study. It consists of several questionnaires to be completed online and then repeated after 1 and 3 months, in order to document change over time.

This study was not supported by any grants.




Sleep and Health in Society

Secondary analysis of population-wide data for the purpose of characterizing sleep problems in the general population, as well as identify disparities in sleep health and examine relationships among these disparities and other health outcomes. More specifically, predictors of sleep disturbance from the sociodemographic domain (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, income, education, marital status, employment), mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, quality of life) and health (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, stroke, smoking, exercise, alcohol use) are being investigated. Analyses ongoing.

Current projects are utilizing several existing datasets, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), and other datasets.


Other Projects

We have many other projects going on at any given time. Some examples of other ongoing projects include:

  • Modifications of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Among Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Psychosis
  • Circadian Patterning of Suicide Risk in the Population
  • Development and Validation of Sleep Assessment Tools
  • Experiences of Coronavirus and Social Distancing among Mexican-Americans
  • Examination of the Bedroom Environment as a Factor in Sleep Health
  • Sleep, Health, and Acculturation at the US-Mexico Border


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