About the EVMS Sleep Disorders Research Center

The Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Division of Sleep Medicine (DSM) has long been interested in and conducted research in diverse areas. Dr. J. Catesby Ware (Chair of the Division of Sleep Medicine) champions interdisciplinary research and has also strongly encouraged participation by medical students and residents. Medical students often begin research projects after their first year but can continue their project thereafter if they so choose. Medical students have worked as long as through the entirety of their medical school tenure after beginning in the summer post first year. EVMS residents in internal medicine are expected to perform a research project during their residency and frequently the DSM has supported their efforts. Residents from other departments e.g. Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry and Ophthalmology have also worked on research projects with DSM mentors. Students and residents have been supported at conferences when they were selected to present their research.   The sleep medicine fellow will be expected to perform a research project during his/her one year fellowship.  

Many of the medications currently used in the treatment of insomnia, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movements of sleep and narcolepsy were studied at EVMS.  More recent areas of interest have included the peripheral effects of insufficient sleep, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and sleep duration, the possible association between high school start times and teen crashes, the possible impact of high school start times on teen sleep duration and mood, and the effect of dental appliances used for obstructive sleep apnea on gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).  The Division’s long history and experience with Driving Simulator technology has come to the fore with studies evaluating text messaging and driving on the driving simulator, and performance on the driving simulator in GERD patients.  

In the Sleep Disorders Research Center we perform a variety of sleep research studies. Our research focuses on sleeping disorders such as Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), Narcolepsy, and Erectile Dysfunction. Additionally, we use a driving simulator to research sleepiness and driving performance. It is also helpful in diagnosing certain sleep disorders.

Selected Studies

  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sleep Maintenance Insomnia
  • Use of Oral Appliance for OSA and GERD
  • The Effects of Text Messaging while Driving
  • Sleep and Driving Simulator Performance in GERD Patients
  • Socio-Economic Status and Sleep