The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing
1710 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701-1499
NUR 5.128 (office location)
512 232-4709 (office phone)
512 471-3688 (Fax)
As a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, I collaborate with interdisciplinary colleagues across the nation to explore the use of Behavioral Sleep Medicine approaches that can be useful to decrease insomnia in family caregivers of persons with chronic and disabling conditions. In the past 11 years of research I have found that family caregivers suffer with severe insomnia, but they are unable to take advantage of pharmacologic treatments, because the excessive sedation does not allow for ongoing monitoring of the patient’s needs throughout the night. My work has focused on designing, testing, and evaluating non-pharmacologic approaches to decreasing insomnia and depression symptoms while improving quality of life in active and bereaved family caregivers of persons with chronic and disabling conditions.
My work with both objective and subjective measures of sleep quality have afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with the school of psychology on studies to explore the effects of chronic sleep restriction in college students. Additionally, my experience with behavioral sleep medicine techniques has afforded another collaborative opportunity with the school of pharmacy to develop a preliminary intervention to treat insomnia and depressive symptoms in college students. I have had the opportunity to consult and advise on faculty and student projects that were exploring the use of actigraph technology for measuring sleep and activity in diverse populations (e.g., elderly, adolescents).