UA Psychology Professor Secures $6.05M Grant to Enhance Sleep Quality in Older Adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia  

Desktop News | August 2023

On May 1st, Dr. Lynn Snow, a psychology professor, received a clinical trial award (R61/33) from the National Institute of Aging for her ground-breaking research titled “Enhancing Sleep Quality for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia: Pragmatic Trial.”  

Dr. Snow has been granted $6.05 million to conduct a novel sleep improvement intervention for nursing home residents aged 50 and above, who are coping with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD).  

Over four years, Dr. Snow will collaborate with individuals within and outside the College of Arts and Sciences to conduct the study.  

“I am the leader of a strong, fabulous team,” said Dr. Snow, “that includes graduate students and is supported by the Alabama Research Institute on Aging. We have a multidisciplinary investigator team that includes nurses, geriatricians, statisticians, social workers and health services researchers from across the country.”  

Dr. Snow emphasized the significance of her research, stating, “Sleep is an area of health that has been ignored in the nursing home industry. The nursing home is one of the most highly regulated industries. Part of that regulation is that they have to measure all kinds of things related to the quality of care for the people who are there. But one of the things that is not measured is sleep!”  

Her dedication to improving quality care within nursing homes motivated her to focus her research on this institution, where she has been involved since her high school days. Dr. Snow expressed admiration for the staff working in nursing homes and their desire to provide excellent care for the residents. However, she recognized the challenges faced by the system in consistently delivering the best care. 

The efforts of Dr. Snow and her team have already shown promising results. In the R61 pilot work, they successfully improved sleep for participating nursing home residents with dementia, leading to an average increase of 37 minutes of sleep time per night. Additionally, the research project has served as a team-building intervention, enabling them to improve quality outcomes. Looking to the future of the R33 project, Dr. Snow expressed optimism, saying, “I am hopeful that we will learn feasible, efficient ways of improving sleep that nursing homes can easily replicate. The folks who work in nursing homes are doing such an important service and we are honored to have funding to be able to support their work. We are here to make nursing homes a better place to live in and to work.”  

For more information on the National Institute of Aging, see