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Funded by a $2.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, the School of Nursing at University of Washington (UW) is launching the Center for Innovation in Sleep Self-Management. The center will be working to develop ways to help adults and children with chronic illness improve sleep quality.

Sleep deficiencies are linked to a higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, but sleep is not routinely assessed in primary care settings. For individuals who struggle with chronic health problems, poor sleep can make it even more difficult to manage their conditions. To help those with chronic conditions improve sleep quality, the center will explore technologies that patients can use at home to help themselves. This will include home sensors to track noise, light, and temperature; mobile applications to measure diet, exercise, and caffeine intake; and wristbands to monitor sleep-wake activity and light levels.

Researchers working for the center will also be collecting data on pain intensity, fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression to create a data repository to share with scientists and patients nationwide. The goal of the data and tools being developed by the center is to allow patients to monitor their sleep behavior, set goals, and receive feedback. Funding from NIH will allow for two new junior researchers and three pilot projects to be conducted at the center under the leadership of UW assistant professors Oleg Zaslavsky and Jennifer Sonney.

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