Healthy Sleepers (BioReVS)

Click Here to See if you are Eligible


Research has shown that sleep disruption affects psychological health following stressful experiences. This study seeks to examine how short term sleep loss  affects the brain and emotional responses in healthy individuals who may or may not have served in the military.  Understanding how sleep loss affects the brain and emotional responses could lead researchers to develop more effective strategies to improve psychological health after stressful events. Our research program places a particular emphasis on understanding sleep in military service members and veterans.

Who may participate

We are looking for men and women who:
• Are veterans or civilians
• Are 18-30 years old
• Are right handed
• Have good physical and psychological health
• Have good sleep
• Are not pregnant or breastfeeding


All procedures will take place at either Sterling Plaza or Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Parking is provided.

Phase One

Visit 1: Complete screening questionnaires and an in-person assessment to determine if you are eligible to participate and provide a blood sample for genetic analysis.  If eligible, you will then receive a sleep diary and an actigraphy wristwatch (which monitors sleep and wakefulness) to record your regular sleep schedule for 7-10 days. (3 hours)

Visit 2: Review the results of your at-home sleep monitoring and complete a brief medical evaluation. You will also receive a small portable device called an ApneaLink to monitor your breathing during sleep for one night at home. (1 hour)

Visit 3: Return the ApneaLink device and receive a new actigraph wristwatch to continue monitoring your sleep for another 7-10 days. (30 minutes)

Phase Two

Night 1: Sleep overnight according to your normal routine in our sleep laboratory. In the morning you may leave for the day and return in the evening. (1 night)

Nights 2-3: Stay overnight in our sleep laboratory. You will be randomly assigned to one of the following three conditions for Night 2:

• Sleep undisturbed according to your normal routine
• Sleep for the first half of the night, then remain awake for the second half
• Remain awake for the entire night

After completing Night 2, you will spend the following day in our laboratory and will remain awake until your normal bedtime. You will then sleep undisrupted through Night 3, according to your normal routine. This means that the longest amount of time you may be asked to remain awake is approximately 38 hours, if you are assigned to remain awake for all of Night 2. (2 nights, 1 day)

Throughout Phase 2, you will be asked to complete 4 fMRI scans that will record your brain activity while you engage in various mental tasks.

After you are done with the experimental procedures in the morning following Night 3, a staff member will meet with you to review the study results with you. Your participation in the research study will then be completed, and you will be free to leave the sleep laboratory.

About the fMRI tasks

You will be asked to perform challenging mental tasks on a computer. While you complete the tasks, we will record your heart rate, pupil dilation, skin conductance (sweat), and brain activity using a procedure called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An fMRI scan is a test that produces images that are similar to x-ray pictures, but without the use of radiation. We use fMRI to help improve our understanding of the way the brain works when people are feeling different emotions in order to develop better treatment for emotional disorders.


We make every effort to accommodate your schedule with our offices, sleep lab, and MRI center. Study procedures can be completed in 3-6 weeks, requiring a minimum of 5 visits.

Phase 1:

Visits 1-3 can be scheduled to be completed during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-5 PM.

Phase 2:

Nights 1-3 must be completed consecutively and can be scheduled Monday through Friday nights. This means you must be able to stay in our lab all day on either a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.


Throughout Phase 1 you can receive up to $65.  For Phase 2, you would earn $150 for completing the lab study and will have the chance to win up to $120 during the fMRI tasks.This means that the total compensation for completing all procedures is up to $335.  We will also provide you with parking, meals, and snacks (free of charge) during your lab study.


All information collected throughout the research process will remain strictly confidential. No information that you provide to us will become a part of your medical or military record. Your personal information (such as your name and birth date) will be stored separately and securely from the information we collect about you for the study. This information will only be labeled with a 6 digit ID number.


There is no benefit for taking part in this study.

The information we get during this study may help us to identify how sleep affects the brain circuits involved in emotions.  This could lead us to develop more effective preventative and treatment strategies to enhance resilience following traumatic experiences, with a particular emphasis on the experiences that military service members and veterans face throughout deployments and other missions