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Research - Sleep Research Consortium - Sleep and Health - Projects
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MTSU Center for Health and Human Services Sleep Research Consortium (SRC)

The Sleep Research Consortium is a volunteer-led organized group facilitated by Middle Tennessee State University Center for Health and Human Services (CHHS), which supports the center’s mission of better health and well-being for all Tennesseans, consistent with the mission and purpose of MTSU.

Collaborative Projects and Research:

The Consortium collaborates with academic and community partners at the national, state, and local level to conduct research, disseminate findings, and develop and implement interventions, programs, and products which meet a need and improve the health of Tennesseans and that may be replicated nationally.

Research Projects:

CPAP Compliance – A data set spanning 10 years – and one of the oldest and largest data sets available in the field of sleep apnea – on patient’s compliance with the use of CPAP machines prescribed for their therapy is being assessed by the Sleep Research Consortium, which may lead to advances in understanding of the compliant and non-compliant patient suffering with a sleep disorder that affects millions, and also lead to better understanding of other health conditions of a patient that maybe related to the underlying sleep disorder. 

In CPAP compliance, there are discrepancies in the definition of compliance (provided by insurance companies) and what is in actual use (real world compliance). If the definition of compliance requires too little therapy to make a difference, then the amount of use for compliance may be ineffective.  If any amount of use is effective, then is that amount achievable with actual use?  Effectiveness can be seen in sleeping disorders, but what about other disorders?  Is real world compliance reflected in studies that use CPAP therapy? These, and other questions, are examined with this research study.  Work is being done in conjunction with MTSU’s Center for Health and Human Services, College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ Mathematics Department and the Computational Science Program, Office of Research Services, and the Sleep Centers of Middle TN.

Sleep and Body Mass Index in Children – In partnership with MTSU CHHS, MTSU Health and Human Performance faculty, the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Education Office of Coordinated School Health, a research study was recently conducted with over 100 4th grade children in four rural Tennessee counties and seven elementary schools to assess whether an after-school physical activity program promotes healthier weight, and improved academic performance and attendance.  Sleep habits were also assessed. There were an additional two schools – for a total of nine schools – and another 125 children participating in programmatic activities, with the programming and research reaching over 200 children.    Plans are to seek additional funding for replication in a larger service area as well as to conduct an additional research study to further study sleep and obesity in children.

Athletics – An assessment of athletes at Middle Tennessee State University was done a decade ago and in 2019, it is time to reassess these same athletes for a variety of health indicators. More information on this research study which will resume in 2019, will be shared as details are made available.

Highway Safety Data – In 2011 Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee (SCMT) and Dr. Noah developed a one-hour Sleep Education Module for the Tennessee Highway Patrol with the goal being that the educational program would help decrease motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) involving troopers, especially early morning MVAs. In 2012 all Tennessee state troopers completed the one-hour training session online. Data will be evaluated to see if the program led to any objective improvement. If the data indicate such, then efforts to include other Tennessee law enforcement agencies with opportunities to participate in the training program may be made.  Possibilities for expanding the project to assess state employees performing shift work to determine if the educational program is beneficial to that population as well may be explored.

Special Projects and Community-Based Initiatives:

Tennessee Health Promotion Network (THPN) – MTSU CHHS, along with several partners and stakeholders, has taken the lead in convening an organized group of stakeholders statewide with a vested interest in obesity prevention and healthy living.  The inaugural meeting of this group took place in August 2017.  The mission of the THPN is to promote optimal health for all Tennesseans by networking and information sharing through private, public, and non-profit partnerships.  The group shares and collaborate on activities and initiatives across the state that promote better health with members and partners through planned communication strategies, sharing best practices, and through regular meetings.  The SRC anticipates partnering with THPN on projects that focus on obesity and healthy sleep habits.

ABC123 Healthy Kids in Tennessee: Let’s Eat Well, Play, and Be Aware Every Day -Developed by MTSU CHHS staff in conjunction with faculty experts and community volunteers, this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Tennessee Success Story” initiative trains childcare providers in delivering health education messages and activities to children ages 3-5 in childcare centers as well as their families. Making smart choices from an early age can go a long way toward preventing cancer, diabetes and other lifestyle-associated diseases and conditions. Since 2007, ABC123 has trained childcare providers in how to talk to children about living, eating and moving in a healthy way.  Overall, the piloted ABC123 research project was shown to improve children’s physical activity, nutrition and body weight classification. Children whose teachers received onsite training from ABC mentors showed the most improvement.    Funding may be sought in future months to update the project materials and curriculum which will include a healthy sleep component.

Leadership Team, Research and Project Partners
Please take a moment to meet our leadership team and current research and project partners who are crucial to the work of the organization.

Individuals or organizations who wish to participate as research or project partners are encouraged to contact the SRC leadership team. The SRC is a volunteer-led organization that seeks partners to help carry out its mission to promote population and individual health through healthy sleep and sleep-related chronic disease prevention and reduction.