sleep lab logoAdministrative Research Center (ARC), Room A29
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80309-0554
phone: 303-735-1923
fax: 303-735-2864

Research Interests

  • Health and safety consequences of sleep and circadian disruption.
  • Influence of sleep and circadian rhythms on human physiology (neuroendocrine, metabolic and immune function) and behavior (sleepiness, memory, learning, mood, cognitive and motor performance) with application to public health and safety.
  • Countermeasures to improve sleep, wakefulness, and health.


  • Director: Kenneth P. Wright Jr., Ph.D.
  • Assistant Research Professor:  Christopher M. Depner, Ph.D.
  • Graduate Students: Shannon Lanza, Dana Withrow  
  • Professional Research Assistants: Elizabeth Boland, Maddy Hunt-Snyder, Sabrina Linton, Michaela Trainer 
  • Undergraduate Students: Shawg Ahmed, Samantha Bradford, Timothy Chang, Salma Fakiri, Emily Hay-Arthur, Madeline Helberg, Natalie Imamura, Yash Kothamdi, Nicole Kirk, Shrihari Kote,  Misia Kubicki, Ellie Lamberty, Nathan Landry, Minyong Lee,Fiona Lindsay, Zofia Martinez-Lisowska, Cammie Mitchell, John Moore, Molly Mouchawar, Riley Nichols, Judy Nguyen, Nguyen Pham, Bailey Residorph,  Aidan Sokup, Owen Tallmadge, Alan Villegas, Xindi Wang, Marissa Wong

Current Research Projects

  • Impact of sleep and circadian disruption on the human microbiome and related changes in human physiology and cognition.
  • Biomarkers for insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption (metabolomics and proteomics).
  • Tissue specific alterations in response to insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment.
  • Influence of sleep loss, sleep inertia and circadian disruption on cognitive function.
  • Countermeasures to improve sleep and wakefulness.
  • Physiological and behavioral mechanisms by which insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment contributes to metabolic dysregulation.
  • Countermeasures to improve cardiometabolic health during insufficient sleep.
  • Student-athlete sleep, health and performance.

Persons interested in volunteering to participate in one of these studies should visit the sleep study participant page.

Colorado Sleep and Circadian Research Symposium

The Colorado Sleep and Circadian Research Symposium brings together speakers from diverse areas of circadian and sleep research for a one-day meeting each May or June on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

  • The requirements for undergraduate students who want a research experience in our Laboratory are:
    • A strong desire to obtain research experiences prior to graduate school, medical school, or advanced study in a health-related field
    • Minimum commitment: One year
    • Minimum hours/week when testing subjects: 8-10 hours (includes journal club)
    • Minimum experience: No prior experience required
    • Must be willing to work with a team
    • Must be able to work various hours during the day, at night, and on weekends.
  • UROP, independent study, honors thesis, and concurrent BA-MS opportunities are available.
  • For more information, contact

Opportunities for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow training is available contingent upon research funding.
  • For more information, contact

Recent Publications

  • Barger LK, Sullivan JP, Blackwell, O'Brien CS, St. Hilaire MA, Phillips AJK, Qadri S, Wright Jr KP, Segar JL,  McGuire JK, Vitiello MV, de la Iglesia H, Poynter SE, Yu PL, Sanderson A, Halbower A, Lockley SW, Landrigan CP, Stone KL, Czeisler CA, and the ROSTERS Study Group. Effects on Resident Work Hours and Sleep Duration in a Randomized Order Safety Trial Evaluating Resident-physician Schedules (ROSTERS) Sleep 2019. May 20. pii: zsz110. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz110. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Blackwell T, Kriesel DR, Vittinghoff E, O'Brien CS, Sullivan JP, Viyaran NC, Rahman SA, Lockley SW, Barger LK, Halbower AC, Poynter SE, Wright KP Jr, Yu PL, Zee PC, Landrigan CP, Czeisler CA, Stone KL; ROSTERS Study Group. Design and recruitment of the randomized order safety trial evaluating resident-physician schedules (ROSTERS) study. Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Mar 15;80:22-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2019.03.005
  • Creasy SA, Crane TE, Garcia DO, Thomson CA, Kohler LN, Wertheim BC, Baker L, Coday M, Hale L, Womack CR, Wright KP, Melanson EL. Higher amounts of Sedentary Time are Associated with Short Sleep Duration and Poor Sleep Quality in Postmenopausal Women. Sleep. 2019 Apr 17. pii: zsz093. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz093. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Depner CM, Melanson EL, Eckel RH, Snell-Bergeon JK, Perreault L, Bergman BC, Higgins JA, Guerin MK, Stothard ER, Morton SJ, Wright KP Jr. Ad libitum Weekend Recovery Sleep Fails to Prevent Metabolic Dysregulation during a Repeating Pattern of Insufficient Sleep and Weekend Recovery Sleep. Curr Biol. 2019 Mar 18;29(6):957-967.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.069. Epub 2019 Feb 28
  • Depner CM, Melanson EL, McHill AW, Wright KP Jr. Mistimed food intake and sleep alters 24 hour time-of-day patterns of the human plasma proteome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2018. 115(23):E5390-E5399. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1714813115.
  • McHill AW, Wright Jr KP. Cognitive Impairments During the Transition to Working at Night and on Subsequent Nightshifts. Journal of Biological Rhythms 2019. May 9:748730419848552. doi: 10.1177/0748730419848552. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Simon SL, McWhirter L, Behn CD, Bubar KM, Kaar JL, Pyle L, Rahat H, Garcia-Reyes Y, Carreau AM, Wright KP, Nadeau KJ, Cree-Green M. Morning circadian misalignment is associated with insulin resistance in girls with obesity & Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 pii: jc.2018-02385. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-02385.
  • Roenneberg T, Wirz-Justice A, Skene DJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Wright KP, Dijk DJ, Zee P, Gorman MR, Winnebeck EC, Klerman EB. Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time? J Biol Rhythms. 2019 Jun;34(3):227-230. doi: 10.1177/0748730419854197.
  • Simon SL, Behn CD, Cree-Green M, Kaar JL, Pyle L, Hawkins SMM, Rahat H, Garcia-Reyes Y, Wright KP Jr, Nadeau KJ. Too Late and Not Enough: School Year Sleep Duration, Timing, and Circadian Misalignment Are Associated with Reduced Insulin Sensitivity in Adolescents with Overweight/Obesity. Journal of Pediatrics. 2019 205:257-264.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.10.027.
  • Simon SL, Diniz Behn C, Laikin A, Kaar JL, Rahat H, Cree-Green M, Wright KP Jr, Nadeau KJ. Sleep & Circadian Health are Associated with Mood & Behavior in Adolescents with Overweight/Obesity. Behav Sleep Med. 2019 Jun 20:1-10. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2019.1629444. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Sprecher KE, Ritchie HK, Burke TM, Depner CM, Smits A, Dorrestein PC, Fleshner M, Knight R, Lowry CA, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH, Wright Jr KP. Trait-like vulnerability of higher-order cognition and ability to maintain wakefulness during combined sleep restriction and circadian misalignment. Sleep 2019. May 9. pii: zsz113. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz113. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Swanson CM, Blatchford PJ, Orwoll ES, Cauley JA, LeBlanc ES, Fink HA, Wright KP Jr, Wierman ME, Kohrt WM, Stone KL; Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF). Association between objective sleep duration and bone mineral density in older postmenopausal women from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF). Osteoporos Int. 2019 May 28. doi: 10.1007/s00198-019-05007-5. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Swanson CM, Kohrt WM, Wolfe P, Wright KP Jr, Shea SA, Cain SW, Munch M, Vujović N, Czeisler CA, Orwoll ES, Buxton OM. Rapid suppression of bone formation marker in response to sleep restriction and circadian disruption in men. Osteoporos Int. 2019 Aug 24. doi: 10.1007/s00198-019-05135-y. [Epub ahead of print]


  • 2016-2018, NIH R01 HL132150 NIH/NHLBI, "Biomarkers of Insufficient Sleep and Sleepiness" (PI: Wright, Reisdorph).
  • 2015-2020, N00014-15-1-2809, Office of Naval Research (ONR), "The microbiome and responsiveness to stress: Countermeasure strategies for improving resilience to sleep and circadian disruption" (PI and Team Lead: Wright).
  • 2016-2020, NIH R01 HL135598, NIH/NHLBI, "Sleep and Blood Pressure-Related Endothelial Abnormalities" (PI: Wright, Desouza, Stauffer).
  • 2016-2019, NIH R01 HL131458, NIH/NHLBI, "HIV-1, Insufficient Sleep and Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction" (PI: Desouza, Connick; Wright Co-Investigator).
  • 2012-2018, NIH U01 HL111478, NIH/NHLBI, "Multi-Center Trial of Limiting PGY2&3 Resident Work Hours on Patient Safety" (PI (Colorado): Wright).
  • 2016-2018, Pac-12 Grant , "Health and Performance: Pac-12 Center for Student-Athlete Health and Performance” (PI: McQueen; Wright Co-Investigator).
  • 2016-2019, Mentored Research Scientist Development Award NIH K01 DK110138, NIH/NIDDK, "Effects of physical activity on cardiometabolic impairments associated with insufficient sleep" (PI: Broussard).
  • 2016-2018, University of Colorado, Vice Chancellor of Research Innovative Seed Grant Program (PI: Broussard).
  • 2017-2019, Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award, F32 DK111161, NIH/NIDDK, "Mechanisms of Insufficient Sleep Contributing to Metabolic Disease Risk and Impact from ‘Weekend Recovery’ Sleep" (PI: Depner).
  • 2017-2018, Center for Women's Health Research Faculty Research Development Award, "Examining sex differences in the metabolic response to insufficient sleep" (PI: Broussard).
  • 2017-2018, University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Research Center Microgrant Award, "Tissue-specific effects of insufficient sleep" (PI: Broussard).
  • 2017-2018 Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC, P30DK048520), "Impact of insufficient sleep on peripheral metabolic tissues" (PI: Broussard).