Funded Projects

The AASM Foundation funds high-impact projects that are aimed at improving sleep health for all. Over the past 23 years, the AASM Foundation has invested more than $21 million in funding career development, high-impact research, clinical training and community initiatives. These cross-cutting sleep projects range from molecular mechanisms of sleep to population sleep health.

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2022 grant cycle.

2022 Bridge to Success Grant Recipients

Vaishnavi Kundel, MD, MScR
Vaishnavi Kundel, MD, MScRIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Use of Novel Multi-Modality Imaging to Investigate the Relationship Between Sleep Duration, Vascular Inflammation, and Visceral Adiposity

Epidemiologic studies have found an association between habitually short sleep duration and cardiovascular/metabolic disease. Whether short sleep duration contributes to vascular and visceral adipose tissue inflammation is unknown. Arterial vascular inflammation is a key prognostic indicator of future cardiovascular events, and increased visceral adiposity is associated with atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disease. This project proposes a pilot observational study to investigate whether objectively measured (habitual) short sleep duration is associated with increased vascular and visceral adipose tissue inflammation using multi-modal hybrid PET/MR imaging.

Jonathan Jun, MD
Jonathan Jun, MDJohns Hopkins University
Metabolic Effects of Melatonin-Based Meal Timing

Late eating may promote obesity, and our laboratory has shown that late dinner causes glucose intolerance and reduces fatty acid oxidation. This project hypothesizes that this is caused by eating past the time of melatonin release, when the body is preparing for sleep. In this randomized crossover study, the project team will measure melatonin rhythm, body temperature, and actigraphy in participants to assign and compare “early” or “late” dinner times.

2022 Focused Projects Grant for Junior Investigators Recipients

Joon Chung, PhD
Joon Chung, PhDBrigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Leveraging The National Sleep Research Resource to Enhance Understanding of Sleep Health Across Populations

What is a ‘normal’ or ‘optimal’ amount of slow wave sleep? Is regular sleep associated with hypertension and diabetes? Via prediction modeling and other methods applied to the National Sleep Research Resource, a data repository of ~15,000 overnight sleep studies, this project will: 1) generate reference values for slow wave sleep; and 2) identify ir/regular sleep sub-types and estimate differences in health risk to assess whether regular bed and wake times may be beneficial for health.

Rebecca C. Cox, PhD
Rebecca C. Cox, PhDUniversity of Colorado Boulder
A Circadian Medicine Light-Based Intervention for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Increasing evidence implicates delayed circadian rhythms in obsessive-compulsive disorder, suggesting circadian medicine may hold promise as a novel OCD intervention strategy. Using a randomized controlled trial, this project will examine whether a light-based intervention to stabilize and advance circadian phase will decrease OCD symptoms in adults with OCD with delayed bedtimes. Results will inform etiological models of OCD and provide insight into the utility of targeting delayed circadian rhythms in OCD treatment.

Yan Ma, MD, MPH
Yan Ma, MD, MPHBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Physiological Dynamics of the Sleep Onset Process: Conventional and Novel Analyses Using SHHS Data

Physiological dynamics during the sleep onset process may represent important biomarkers characterizing sleep pathophysiology. However, the direct and temporal associations between these physiological dynamics during sleep onset and subsequent sleep quality remain unclear. The proposed project using the National Sleep Research Resource database aims to better understand the physiology of the wake-sleep transition, and provide novel information regarding pre-sleep physiology, hyper-arousal, and sleep-onset.

Melanie Stearns, PhD
Melanie Stearns, PhDUniversity of Missouri
Transactional Relationship between Child Behavior and Sleep

This study seeks to characterize the transactional nature of daily fluctuations in child behavior and child sleep, while examining moderating variables (parenting behaviors, parent sleep, and child arousal/heart rate variability) that may influence their relationships among children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Clarifying these associations and their moderators has the potential to better inform and design interventions regarding both child sleep and behavior problems.

2022 Physician Scientist Training Grant Recipients

Jacqueline H. Geer, MD, MHS
Jacqueline H. Geer, MD, MHSYale University
Evaluating Neurological Recovery in Intracerebral Hemorrhage and Sleep Apnea (ENRICH-SA) Study

Intracerebral hemorrhage is a common stroke subtype that is associated with significant impairment and mortality. Obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for ischemic stroke, but the relationship between intracerebral hemorrhage and obstructive sleep apnea has not been well established. This is an observational study of 20 intracerebral patients in which ambulatory polysomnography will be performed in the acute setting to assess the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea as well as phenotypic and functional/cognitive outcomes data.

Thomas M. Tolbert, MD
Thomas M. Tolbert, MDIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
The Effect of Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction on Sleep-Disordered Breathing Pathophysiology

Sleep-disordered breathing is common in patients with heart failure. Though systolic dysfunction is known to contribute to sleep-disordered breathing pathophysiology, the potential effect of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction remains relatively unexplored. This study will examine the pathophysiologic traits of sleep-disordered breathing in patients with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction using computational analyses of sleep studies. The study hypothesizes that greater left ventricular diastolic dysfunction severity will associate with more unstable ventilatory control and a greater burden of central (relative to obstructive) respiratory events.

2022 American Board of Sleep Medicine Junior Faculty Grant Recipients

Christopher Schmickl, MD, PhD, MPH
Christopher Schmickl, MD, PhD, MPHUniversity of California San Diego
Endotype-Targeted Therapy to Rescue OSA Patients Struggling with CPAP Adherence (TOP-CPAP): A Pilot Trial

Continuous positive airway pressure virtually eliminates obstructive sleep apnea, but many patients struggle to use continuous positive airway pressure treatment, especially those with a low arousal threshold (waking up too easily). Using a placebo-controlled pilot trial, this study will test the hypothesis that 2 weeks of eszopiclone (a hypnotic increasing the arousal threshold) can improve CPAP adherence, especially in low arousal threshold patients. This line of research may eventually improve the obstructive sleep apnea management of millions of currently undertreated patients.

Kevin Motz, MD
Kevin Motz, MDJohns Hopkins University
Upper Airway Critical Closing Pressure as a Biomarker of Response to Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea is increasingly utilized in continuous positive airway pressure intolerant patients. However, up to 33% of hypoglossal nerve stimulation patients have an inadequate response to therapy. Successful hypoglossal nerve stimulation therapy is predicated on overcoming upper airway collapse, but this metric is not part of selection criteria. This study aims to assess airway collapsibility (Pcrit) with and without genioglossus stimulation. The project team predicts that low baseline and large changes in Pcrit with genioglossus stimulation is associated with successful hypoglossal nerve stimulation.

2022 Community Sleep Health Grant Recipients

Karin Johnson, MD
Karin Johnson, MDUniversity of Massachusetts Chan School of Medicine - Baystate
Science of Clock Change: Creation of Free Educational Videos on the Implications of Clock Change Policy

Legislation to end biannual clock change is active but often in favor of permanent Daylight Saving Time despite scientific and medical position papers supporting permanent Standard Time. Lack of education and understanding of the many and complex impacts of Clock Change policies leads to misuse of data and hinders advocacy. This grant supports the creation of videos about the science of clock change to educate the public and to assist with advocacy efforts.

Carol H. Ripple, PhD
Carol H. Ripple, PhDPajama Program, Inc.
Developing and Implementing Sleep Health Education for Foster Care Personnel

Despite high rates of sleep problems, sleep health among children in foster care is largely ignored. Guided by implementation science, semi-structured interviews with 35 foster-care agency personnel will assess sleep knowledge and strategies for delivering sleep health education. Findings will inform the development of an evidence-based sleep health education program for foster-care agency personnel, including strategies to support children and foster caregivers, offered by the lead organization, Pajama Program.

Past Recipients