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Elizabeth Ryan: Sleep Diagnostics and Treatment Laboratory

Sleep has a powerful and complicated relationship with mental health. Since 1998 when the Sleep Diagnostics and Treatment Laboratory was founded by Drs. Cynthia Dorsey and Scott E. Lukas, our scientists have been studying the causes and consequences of disrupted sleep, the interaction between sleep and drug use, and the effectiveness of varying treatments for sleep disorders.

Our work includes clinical experimental sleep research exploring sleep physiology and behaviors. In addition, this laboratory has served as the hub for a wide range of NIH and industry-sponsored clinical trials aimed at understanding the neurobiological bases of sleep disorders (primarily insomnia) and their treatment. Sleep studies are conducted in our lab on the Belmont campus, and we also perform ‘at home’ sleep assessments.

The sleep study facility and equipment includes:

  • Two-bed laboratory on the ground floor of the McLean Imaging Center equipped with an infrared lighting system and a low light cameras to maintain visual and auditory contact .
  • Polysomnographic computer systems: one Alice™ IV, one Alice™ LE and one Somnologica™ system.
  • Electrodes, belts, transducers, and sensors record a full sleep montage plus cardiac and respiratory measures including EKG, oral/nasal flow, nasal pressure, thoracic effort, abdominal effort and oxygen saturation.
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bi-level pressure titration systems.
  • Two portable Alice PDx Diagnostic Systems for ‘at home’ sleep assessments.
  • ActiWatch-Score® and Actiwatch2 ‘wear-an-forget’ wrist actigraphy devices for tracking sleep/wake activity over extended periods.