SIESTA Study - Kansas City, KS


  • Location:
  • Age: 60 to 85
  • Duration: 15 months
  • Visits: 7-11 in person, 6 virtual visits
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Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible to participate in SIESTA if you meet the following requirements:

  • Are 60-85 years old
  • Have experienced difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or waking up too early at least three nights per week for the past six months
  • Do not have any other untreated sleep disorder (such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome)
  • Do not have memory or thinking problems

About the Study:

Older adults often have problems sleeping. Research has shown that sleep problems can increase the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) has proven effective in improving sleep outcomes and is currently the first-line nonpharmacological insomnia treatment. 

KU researchers are testing to see if a 6-week sleep intervention that improves sleep quality also affects cognitive functioning and levels of a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.


Research shows that difficulty sleeping may interfere with thinking ability and memory. Also, difficulty sleeping has been associated with a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain that may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. However, despite the strong links between sleep disruptions, thinking ability and memory, and Alzheimer’s, interventions to help people sleep better has not yet been targeted to improve thinking ability and memory and reduce the build-up of beta-amyloid. By doing this study, researchers hope to learn if an intervention used to help older adults sleep better may improve thinking and problem-solving abilities and also reduce the build-up of beta-amyloid.

What is Involved:

One half of participants will have cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I); the other half will have sleep and lifestyle education. Participants in both groups will have 6 weekly, online visits with an interventionist

Additional study procedures include questionnaires, cognitive tests, overnight sleep studies, and a genetic test to assess risk of Alzheimer’s. 

Participants will be asked to consider having two PET scans and two MRI scans to take pictures of their brain.

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