Featured Member - Michael Grandner, PhD MTR CBSM
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN BEHAVIORAL SLEEP MEDICINE?
I was an undergraduate in Michael Perlis' lab at the University of Rochester. So my fate was sealed a long time ago. I learned about the sleep field from my time in the lab-- and because of that, in my mind, BSM is of course the center of the universe of sleep research. My other mentor as an undergraduate was Donna Giles, who helped shape how I thought about sleep and depression, a topic I still work with today. As a graduate student working with Dan Kripke, BSM wasn't as much of a focus as circadian rhythms were, but that experience really solidified the importance of light exposure, actigraphy, and public health for me -- and all of these significantly shaped my research as well as clinical work. As a postdoc, Phil Gehrman taught me a lot about what it means to be a BSM clinician in a medical setting, and Allan Pack taught me about how to think about BSM from the perspective of translational science. And working with Dr. Perlis again as a postdoc and junior faculty reminded me of where I come from and that, in many ways, that is also where I am headed.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO EARLY CAREER INDIVIDUALS, OR THOSE RE-SPECIALIZING INTO BEHAVIORAL SLEEP MEDICINE?
Sleep is universal, and sleep problems in our society are unfortunately ubiquitous. By improving sleep, not only can we make a measurable impact in the real lives of real people, but we can make that impact across a really wide range of domains of health and functioning. And sleep interventions work for so many people, it's really rewarding to see people get better! Plus, this is a field with a lot of really awesome people that you should get to know!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO AWAY FROM THE OFFICE?
Enjoying the company of family and friends. Cooking for as many people as I can get away with. Writing and playing music, though I'm a bit out of practice these days. Taking pictures of clouds and sunsets, though they never turn out as good as I want them to.