On Insomnia and Mood Disorders: Dr. Daniel Kay

Gayle Greene, author of Insomniac, describes her experience with insomnia: “I don’t manage this beast, I live with it. I live around it. I bed down with it every night, gingerly, cautiously, careful not to provoke it. I do my best to placate it, domesticate it, dull its claws, avoid its fangs, knowing that at any moment it can pounce on me and tear me to bits.”

kay-danielAccording to National Public Radio, sixty million Americans struggle with insomnia each year. Yet scientists know relatively little about its causes and cures; it is a relatively new field of study. Dr. Daniel Kay, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences’ newest professor in the Psychology Department, has been researching sleep since 2003 with the aim of understanding the relationship between insomnia and mood disorders. He hopes it will lead to new preventative and therapeutic treatments for mood disorders and insomnia.

During his undergraduate at Washington State University, Dr. Kay studied the “local sleep hypothesis,” which is the idea that sleep is regulated in specific regions of the brain rather than across the entire brain. His senior project explored how regionalized sleep disturbance, or the inability of one part of the brain to sleep, related to mental illness.

Dr. Kay currently teaches Intro to Psychology, which he will also teach next semester.  He will teach Research Methods in Psychology next semester as well. He was raised in Independence, MO. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Janene, for 14 years and they have four children, ages 6-12.  If he has an hour of free time, he watches movies.

Welcome Dr. Daniel Kay!

Have you met another new faculty member, Dr. Jon Felt?

Do you have trouble sleeping?


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