Rebecca Lorenz


My research is focused on the effects of disrupted sleep on physical function, pain and other symptoms among adults with chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.  I have also examined the effects of napping and nocturnal sleep in older adults and their caregivers with and without dementia. My participants have primarily been community-dwelling adults, until I received an invitation to join a clinical team who aims to identify methods to improve sleep, reduce pain, and increase patient satisfaction among hospitalized patients.

These interests create three lines of inquiry, including: 

  1. Exploring how body temperature effects sleep among adults with inflammatory diseases,
  2. Enhancing understanding of perceptions of rest and exercise to self-manage symptoms and
  3. Improving sleep quality among hospitalized adults.

Findings to date suggest physical function and sleep could be improved among different populations of adults with lifestyle changes including exercise and social activities. Future plans include a proposal to examine the effects of a behavioral intervention on sleep, daytime activity and depressive symptoms among adults with multiple sclerosis.