According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the University of Washington School of Nursing is launching the Center for Innovation in Sleep Self-Management with a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The center is aimed at developing ways to help both adults and children with chronic illness sleep better.

“Sleep deficiency is linked to a higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity,” Teresa Ward, a UW associate professor of nursing and co-director of the center, said in a statement. “For individuals who already have these conditions, poor sleep can make managing their condition much more difficult.”

Because sleep is not routinely assessed in a primary care setting, the center will explore technologies patients can use themselves at home. Those include home sensors that track noise, light and temperature; mobile applications that measure diet, exercise and caffeine intake; and wristbands that monitor sleep-wake activity and light levels. The goal is for the tools to allow patients to monitor sleep behavior, set goals and receive feedback.

Researchers at the center also will collect data on pain intensity, fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression to create a large data repository to share with scientists and patients nationwide.

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