CHP professor earns AREA grant to study the connection between sleep and heart health

By Megan Bradshaw on February 7, 2017

Dobrosielski received $446,000 over three years from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Anyone trying to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution might want add more sleep to his or her improved diet and increased exercise.

Towson University’s Devon Dobrosielski, an assistant professor of kinesiology in the College of Health Professions, has spent most of his career affirming the connections between diet, exercise, sleep and cardiovascular health. He recently earned a National Institute of Health (NIH) Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) grant of $446,000 over three years to study the impact of sleep apnea on an individual’s ability to improve cardiovascular health with exercise.

Devon Dobrosielski head shot
Devon Dobrosielski

“The importance of sleep behavior and treatment of sleep disorders on our health is underappreciated. Sleep may have a huge impact on our ability to improve health and well-being with lifestyle change” said Dobrosielski.

This grant will help him evaluate whether the beneficial effects of exercise on vascular function are reduced in obese individuals who suffer from untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

Read the Winter 2015 issue of the TU alumni magazine featuring Devon Dobrosielski’s research

Before coming to Towson University in 2012, he managed clinical trials examining the cardiovascular consequences of different diets and exercise in populations who suffer from chronic disease, like those who are obese with diabetes. With the understanding that there is a correlation between sleep apnea and obesity, one of his first projects at TU was a study to examine the relation between physical activity, vascular health and self-reported sleep quality.

With the AREA grant, Dobrosielski is recruiting 60 participants, men and women between the ages of 30-65 who are overweight and sedentary or snore heavily during sleep. The participants will take part in an overnight sleep study, cardiovascular testing and six weeks of aerobic and resistance exercise. They will also receive a free Fitbit and three-month membership to the Towson University Wellness Center.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland

Dobrosielski's Sleep Study

For more information...

To find out if you qualify for the study, call 410-704-3630 or email