Sleep Lab

Mizzou Sleep Research Lab

The Mizzou Sleep Research Lab investigates the mechanisms underlying normal and pathological sleep, the link between sleep and cognition, the daily variability inherent in sleep and sleep-related behaviors and the efficacy and effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat insomnia in diverse populations. Current studies include:

  • Sleep and Pain Interventions for Women (SPIN-II): If you are a female with frequent aches and pains & trouble sleeping, you may be eligible to participate in a research study that is testing a drug-free sleep and pain treatment at the MizZzou Sleep Research Lab (University of Missouri Hospital – Columbia, MO). Contact spin@missouri.edu for more information.

  • Better Rest for Children with Autism (RECHArge): If you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder who has trouble sleeping, you and your child may be eligible to participate in a research study that is testing sleep treatments at the Thompson Center (Columbia, MO). Contact recharge@missouri.edu for more information.

  • Teen Sleep Pain Alcohol Risk Cognition and COVID-19 (TeenSPARCC): If you are a parent of a teen aged 13-18 years, you and your teen may be eligible for a new online research study at MizZzou Sleep Research Lab (University of Missouri-Columbia). Contact nairn@health.missouri.edu for more information.

  • Sleep Intervention for Chronic Insomnia Using Virtual Reality (iVR): If you experience trouble sleeping and you’re 18 years or older, you may be eligible to participate in a research study that is testing a virtual reality technique to treat insomnia at the MizZzou Sleep Research Lab (University of Missouri-Columbia). Contact spin@missouri.edu for more information.

  • Sleep and Pain Interventions for Males with Chronic Widespread Pain (SPINCWP): If you are a male with frequent aches and pains & trouble sleeping, you may be eligible to participate in a research study that is testing a drug-free sleep and pain treatment at the MizZzou Sleep Research Lab (University of Missouri Hospital – Columbia, MO). Contact spin@missouri.edu for more information.

  • Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color Sleep Perceptions and Access to Care (BIPOC SPACE): If you identify as black, indigenous, or a person of color and you’re above the age of 18, you may be eligible to join an online focus group study to give your options about sleep treatments. Contact jbtqf@mail.missouri.edu for more information.

Sleep lab

Predicting and controlling aggression on the part of psychiatric inpatients

This research program is currently underway at the State Hospital at Fulton, where the department operates a forensic fellowship program. The Fulton campus includes a 200-bed, maximum-security forensic hospital, the only one of its kind in Missouri.

Niels Beck, PhD, coordinates this effort and studies are being conducted that involve abstracting data from hospital records of highly assaultive patients, including seclusion/restraint records, and tracking the types of medications used to control these behaviors. The goal is to develop medication algorithms for the management of aggressive behavior.

Additional investigations are underway that examine differences in staff/patient interactional patterns in highly assaultive vs. non-assaultive patient samples, the frequency of abuse and neglect in the family histories of these patient groups and a genetic study that targets several polymorphisms of genes thought to play a role in the development of hyper-emotionality and aggressive behavior. Residents in the second and fourth years, as well as forensic fellows, have an opportunity to work with Beck on these projects.

Studies of Recidivism and Length of Stay (LOS) in Acute Psychiatric Hospitals

Howard Houghton, MD, focuses on the patient population at the Missouri University Psychiatric Center (MUPC), a 60-bed inpatient facility owned and operated by University of Missouri Health and staffed by Department of Psychiatry faculty.

Current work on LOS involves several samples of patients hospitalized at MUPC and uses multivariate statistical modeling methods to help staff predict patient LOS and recidivism. In this regard, data are being collected from patient medical and outpatient service records, abstracting data regarding patient demographic characteristics, diagnosis and various circumstances surrounding the reason for admission.

Future studies are planned in this area that will involve tracking patient attendance in outpatient treatment settings, emergency room visits and other proxy measures of adjustment following discharge.