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UK professors investigating sleep deprivation in Appalachian Kentucky

Stu Johnson

Two professors at the University of Kentucky are preparing for a two-year study on sleep deprivation in Appalachia. The study is supported by a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Chrystal Badour is a professor in psychology. She said the work focuses on why a lack of sleep is particularly high in eastern Kentucky. Badour noted several factors must be considered.

“Is there availability of resources? Is there availability of jobs? Are people feeling hopeful about their futures and their communities? Are they connecting with their neighbors with other people in the places that they live?” asked Badour.

UK Sociology Professor Mairead Moloney said the call is going out for 400 adults in 12 eastern Kentucky counties. She said participants in a previous study cited drug addiction fears as a deterrent to taking medical sleep aids.

“Even though every participant struggled to sleep, every participant had insomnia, almost to a person they had seen the ravages of opioid abuse and were very reticent to even take a sleeping pill because they had seen what addition could do,” said Moloney.

Here’s the entire conversation with UK College of Arts and Sciences professors Chyrstal Badour and Mairead Molony.


Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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