Wendy M. Troxel

Photo of Wendy Troxel
Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist
Off Site Office

Education

Ph.D. in clinical/health psychology, University of Pittsburgh; B.A. in psychology/theatre, Bucknell University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Wendy Troxel is a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified behavioral sleep medicine specialist. Troxel's research focuses on understanding the links between close relationships and sleep, and how this relationship may influence couples' health and functioning. She has published two seminal review papers on this topic and is recognized as the leading authority on sleep within the context of couples.

Troxel has received several awards and honors for her research from national and international scientific societies, and her work has been published in top-tier medical and psychological journals. Her research is funded by the National Heart Lung Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. She is also an active clinical psychologist with a focus on behavioral (non-pharmacologic) treatments for sleep disorders. She was the founding director of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited training program in behavioral sleep medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and remains on its advisory board. She has leadership roles in several professional sleep societies, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

Troxel's research has received widespread media attention, including print and television interviews on CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, MSNBC, and CNN, and she has a regular blog on sleep on Huffington Post. Troxel received her Ph.D. in clinical/health psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

Recent Projects

  • Dynamic Perspective on Marital Functioning, Sleep, and Cardiovascular Risk
  • Dynamic Model of Sleep, Relationships, and Health in Military Couples
  • Sleep in the Military: An Evaluation of Military Programs and Policies -- Sleep Resources and Tips for Line Leaders
  • Neighborhood Change: Impact on Sleep and Obesity-Related Health Disparities
  • Natural Experiment of Neighborhood Revitalization and Cardiometabolic Health

Selected Publications

Troxel WM, Robles T, Hall M, Buysse DJ., "Marital quality and the marital bed: Examining the covariation between relationship quality and sleep.," Sleep Medicine Reviews

Troxel WM, Germain A, Buysse DJ., "Clinical management of insomnia with Brief Behavioral Treatment (BBTI)," Behavioral Sleep Medicine

Troxel WM, Kupfer DJ, Reynolds CF, Frank E, Thase M, Miewald J, and Buysse DJ, "Insomnia and objectively measured sleep disturbances predict treatment outcome in depressed patients treated with psychotherapy or psychotherapy-pharmacotherapy," The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Troxel WM, Buysse DJ, Hall M, Matthews, KA., "Marital Happiness and Sleep Disturbances in a Multi-Ethnic Sample of Middle-Aged Women.," Behavioral Sleep Medicine

Troxel WM, Gallo LC, Matthews KA, Kuller LH., "Marital quality and occurrence of the metabolic syndrome.," Archives of Internal Medicine

Troxel WM, Buysse DJ, Matthews KA, Kravitz HM, Bromberger JT, Sowers MF, Hall M., "Marital/ Cohabitation Status and History in Relation to Sleep in Midlife Women.," Sleep

Troxel WM, Buysse DJ, Matthews KA, Kip KE, Strollo PJ, Hall M, Drumheller O, Reis SE., "Sleep symptoms predict the development of the metabolic syndrome," Sleep

Troxel WM, Matthews KA., "What are the costs of marital conflict and dissolution to children's physical health?" Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

Honors & Awards

  • Early Career Distinguished Research Award, Behavioral Sleep Medicine
  • Invited Attendee, American Academy of Sleep Medicine Young Investigator Forum, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • American Psychosomatic Society (APS) Scholarship Award, American Psychosomatic Society

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CBS Sunday Morning; CNN; Good Morning America; KPCC-FM AirTalk; MSNBC; NBC News; New York Times; Public Radio East, NC; Wall Street Journal; WHYY Radio Times

Commentary: ABC News; Huffington Post; Newsday; The Park Record; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; U.S. News & World Report

Video Interviews: National Geographic

Commentary

  • A tired high school student in a classroom

    Students Shouldn't Lose Sleep Over the Liberty Bridge Fire

    The fire and resulting closure of the Liberty Bridge is forcing some Pittsburgh high school students to sacrifice sleep to meet a new 7:11 a.m. start time. Sleep loss has consequences for adolescents' minds, bodies, behavior, and for public safety.

    Sep 21, 2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • A woman discussing her insomnia with a counselor

    A New Prescription for Sleepless Americans: Take Advice, Not a Pill

    New guidelines from the American College of Physicians favor behavioral therapy over meds as the first-line treatment for insomnia. However, the ACP's recommendation will not in itself raise the level of access to optimal care for insomnia patients.

    May 9, 2016 The Huffington Post

  • Adolescent boy asleep in a classroom

    When the School Bell Tolls Too Early

    School schedules can bring sleep-defying stresses to kids and teens. But there are strategies for parents to get their families 'sleep-ready' for the school year.

    Aug 10, 2015 The Park Record

  • Man in bed looking at a tablet

    Sleepless in the City

    An alarming number of American city dwellers face sleepless nights, followed inevitably by days of productivity-sapping fatigue and, ultimately, the possibility of more serious health consequences. There are some things they can do to better their chances of falling and staying asleep.

    Jul 17, 2015 The Huffington Post

  • Soldiers from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment catch a few winks before jumping over North Carolina during a training exercise

    U.S. Soldiers Denied Sleep Suffer Major Health Effects

    More than 60 percent of service members don't get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night. About a third get by on five hours or less. The military, and society at large, needs to recognize the importance of sleep as a crucial link to physical and mental well-being.

    May 11, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Child in skeleton costume with a jack-o-lantern basket of candy

    A Season of Bedtime Challenges

    Halloween and Daylight Saving Time can wreak havoc on children's sleep schedules. But because parents know what's coming, they can prepare by monitoring what kids consume, maintaining calm, consistent schedules, and slowly shifting bedtime over a few days to accommodate the new time settings.

    Oct 28, 2014 The Huffington Post

  • ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor

    Quality Sleep at Sea

    The U.S. Navy may be waking up to something sleep experts have known for a long time: that people function best when they follow their natural sleep rhythms.

    May 8, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • woman with insomnia next to sleeping partner

    Some Tired Myths About Sleeping with Your Valentine, or Not

    Two-thirds of U.S. adults report that they regularly sleep with a partner. Yet, through 60 years or so of sleep research, scientists have tended to view sleep as an individual behavior, largely ignoring the potential impact of bedmates.

    Feb 14, 2014 The Huffington Post

  • a man reluctant to get out of bed, adult, aging, asleep, bed, bedroom, caucasian, couple, elderly, family, female, get, health, healthy, home, indoors, inside, laying, lie, lifestyle, lying, male, man, mature, morning, old, pain, painful, people, person, pyjamas, relax, resting, retired, senior, seniors, sleep, sleeping, sleepy, tired, two, unhappy, up, wake, wake-up, waking, white, woman

    A Warm Bed on a Cold Morning: When Waking Up Is Hard to Do

    As seductive as a warm bed may be on a cold morning, staying in bed too long can lead to disrupted sleep and a sleep-sapping case of the winter blues. These are the times when we need to resist the urge to hibernate and force ourselves to get going.

    Jan 16, 2014 The Huffington Post

  • Hudson Line derailment recovery operations in New York

    Deadly Aftermath of 'Microsleep'

    Though “microsleep,” commonly referred to as “highway hypnosis,” may enter the public discourse most often when it's cited as the possible cause of a disaster like the Metro-North train wreck, it is responsible for fatal accidents on American highways every day.

    Dec 12, 2013 Newsday

  • child sleeping near a Christmas tree

    How to Sleep in Heavenly Peace This Holiday Season

    The holiday season is a time when people try to do too much. And that often leads to stress and worry, which can be the enemies of a good night's sleep. Here are a few tricks to help manage the episodic bouts of insomnia that are common during the holidays.

    Dec 2, 2013 The Huffington Post

  • A 40-foot-high inflatable rubber duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is towed up the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 2013

    Here's to Our Health

    Atop the new mayor's agenda should be improving the health and well-being of Pittsburgh residents. With an unassailable electoral mandate in hand, Mr. Peduto is positioned to take bold steps. And the best way to do that is by applying scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.

    Nov 25, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • sleep trouble

    Sleep and Couples: For Better or Worse, Day and Night?

    Compared with other health behaviors such as smoking or exercise, sleep is unique because for most adults, it is a behavior they

    May 20, 2013 ABC News

Publications

Multimedia