The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is conducting a research study to examine the role sleep plays in the functioning of married couples and their risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Given that spouses are the primary sources of both support and conflict for most adults, the marital relationship offers a critical window for understanding how the ups and downs of these relationships can influence sleep and cardiovascular health. The study will examine how couples' behaviors during the daytime influence their sleep and how their sleep influences their subsequent behaviors, and ultimately how some marriages may reduce couples' cardiovascular risk while other marriages may confer risk.

Researchers are looking for married couples with both spouses between the ages of 18 and 45, who have regular sleep schedules, and do not have sleep, psychiatric, heart or major medical problems. Eligible couples will be asked to come to the research laboratory for several visits to complete questionnaires, have physical exams, participate in sleep studies and engage in several videotaped discussions with their spouses.

Participants also will be asked to complete a 10-day "home study," during which each spouse will wear a wrist-size watch which provides a behavioral measure of sleep, complete a daily hand-held computer diary asking about daily interactions with their spouse, and wear a portable blood pressure cuff to measure blood pressure during two days of regular daily activities and sleep. Participants will be compensated for their time and will be given information regarding their sleep and cardiovascular risk factors.

For more information or to see if you qualify for this research study, please call the Marriage and Sleep Study at 412-246-6674.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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