Sleep Research Studies

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the pharmaceutical industry, the Henry Ford Sleep Research Center is actively involved in sleep research studies that investigate various aspects of sleep and sleep health.

Below you'll find brief summaries of our ongoing sleep research studies, as well as information on how to participate:

Behavioral treatment of menopausal insomnia; sleep and daytime outcomes

Insomnia is recognized as the most prevalent and “costly” sleep disorders and is associated with considerable morbidity including significantly reduced quality of life and increased risk for major depressive disorder. Insomnia is a key symptom of the menopausal transition with 40-50% of postmenopausal women (> 17 million) having insomnia. Insomnia associated with menopause has a characteristic pattern of sleep disturbance predominantly characterized by sleep maintenance difficulties including, frequent awakenings and arousals, reduced sleep efficiency and overall fragmented sleep. It has recently been demonstrated that this pattern of sleep disturbance, difficulty maintaining sleep, increases throughout the progression of menopause. We have recently found sleep maintenance problems in menopause are associated with reduced work performance, increased healthcare utilization, and impaired quality of life. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a treatment that is being aimed at for these patients sleep problems targeting sleep maintenance (sleep restriction therapy). Learn more about participating in this study.

Cardiovascular and diabetic morbidity of shift work disorder

Shift work disorder is a sleep disorder that usually affects individuals who work during the night and sleep during the day. Our internal biological clock (also known as our circadian rhythm) relies on light and darkness to know when our body should stay active or rest. When shift workers stay awake when it is dark, and try to sleep during daylight, this causes a misalignment between our internal clock and our work schedule. Symptoms of shift work disorder include feeling tired and sleepy during the work shift, sleeplessness during the day, excessive sleepiness, and insomnia. Shift work disorder can also cause “unsatisfactory” sleep, as well as deficits in attention, alertness and concentration. Anxiety and depression and other mood disorders may also be associated with poor sleep quality.

About the study: The Sleep Disorders & Research Center is conducting a study involving night shift workers. We are testing to see how cardiovascular and metabolic functions, such as blood pressure and blood sugar, may be different between night workers diagnosed with Shift Work Disorder and night workers who are well adjusted to their work schedule. Participants in this study will be compensated for their time.

Safety and efficacy of chronic hypnotic use: study 2

The purpose of this research study is to determine how safe and effective it is to use either of two different FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved sleeping medications on a nightly basis for six months. For many people insomnia is a chronic problem and they use their sleeping medications chronically, but studies have not thoroughly determined whether they remain effective and safe. This study will compare two commonly prescribed sleep medications which improve sleep, but do so through slightly different pathways in the brain.

Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center is currently recruiting participants for this study. You may qualify if you meet the following criteria: have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep, are between the ages of 21 and 64, in general good health and have no chronic medical or psychiatric condition. Eligible women are not pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast feeding during the study. This is a 6 month study, 1 overnight sleep study; other nights will be monitored at home and 10 daytime visits (approximately 30-45 minutes),one to two times per month. The study includes two FDA approved sleeping medications. Participants will be compensated. If interested email or call Gail (313) 916-5179 or Dana (313) 916-5302.

Insomnia with fibromyalgia

A prevalent musculoskeletal chronic pain disorder is fibromyalgia in which pain is widespread and not specifically localized. Between 60-80% of fibromyalgia patients complain of sleep disturbance, which most typically is a sleep maintenance problem. Suvorexant, recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and sleep maintenance, has a unique mechanism of action. As such, suvorexant may provide unique clinical benefit as a treatment in chronic pain conditions with co-morbid insomnia. Thus, this project proposes to study objective and clinical measures of sleep, pain, and daytime sleepiness and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia and co-morbid insomnia while treated short-term with suvorexant 20 mg versus placebo.

Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center is seeking participants who have Fibromyalgia and are experiencing difficulty sleeping. This study is investigating the effectiveness of a FDA approved sleep medication. Eligible participants are females with fibromyalgia, ages 21-65, in otherwise good health. The 1 month study will involve 5 overnight sleep stays, 6 daytime visits and home monitoring. Participants will be compensated. To determine eligibility or for more details, email CIS2HFHSleep@hfhs.org and note insomnia with fibromyalgia study in the subject line.