Patricia Haynes, PhD, Awarded $3.1 Million from NIH

Patricia Haynes, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine, has been awarded an R01 grant for $3.1 million over 5 years by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Dr. Haynes will partner with the Unemployment Insurance Administration in the Arizona Department of Economic Security to study obesity, sleep, and daily behaviors in people who have involuntarily lost their job.

Numerous studies have found that insufficient sleep increases risk of weight gain and unhealthy behavioral patterns (increased caloric intake, decreased physical activity). Stress is also an important indirect factor for obesity, and stress and sleep deficiency exacerbate one another. Unfortunately, very little is known about how stress and sleep interact and manifest behaviorally for individuals in the natural environment. Findings from this study will contribute to the scientific literature base by providing data about the interrelationships between social rhythms, sleep and weight gain after involuntary job loss, a life event that is often stressful and disrupting to an individual’s daily routine.

Dr. Haynes is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Stress and Trauma Recovery Clinic at the University of Arizona with an expertise in the areas of sleep and stress. She completed a fellowship in behavioral sleep medicine and is certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This study builds on her prior work through its examination of the interaction of psychosocial variables, sleep-related mechanisms, and behavioral health variables.

Co-investigators include:

  • Emily A. Butler, PhD, Associate Professor of Family Studies and Human Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona;
  • George W. Howe, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at The George Washington University;
  • Duane Sherrill, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona;
  • Graciela Silva, PhD,Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing, University of Arizona College of Nursing; 
  • Stuart F. Quan, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, University of Arizona College of Medicine and Gerald E. McGinnis Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and
  • Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, Professor of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Director of the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, University of Arizona.

Collaborator Nirav Merchant, MS, Director of Information Technology for Arizona Research Laboratories at University of Arizona, will support the computational and data handling platform. 

The investigative team will follow 250 unemployed individuals over 18 months. They will use smartphone technology and state-of-the-art assessments to examine daily routine, sleep, weight gain, and dietary intake and energy expenditure.

Dr. Haynes explained, “If findings show that disturbances in daily routine and sleep precede weight gain, then there is solid backing for the next phase -- to develop and test a sleep-based health promotions campaign in unemployed individuals.”

“Unemployment, chronic sleep restriction, and obesity are highly prevalent social and public health issues. I anticipate that the results of this study will be of high relevance to a large segment of the U.S. population,” added Ole J. Thienhaus, MD, MBA, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine. 

For more information, contact Dr. Haynes at

Release Date: 
08/22/2014 - 3:45pm