History of the REST Project

REST group photo
REST Project team (from left to right: Shannon Lavey, Craig Spooner, Natalie Rolle, Arlene Schmid, Aaron Eakman, Erica Schelly, Cathy Schelly; not shown: Joshua Burns, and Kim Henry – Department of Psychology)

In 2015 the Wounded Warrior Project awarded a grant to the REST project at Colorado State University. The REST project’s sleep intervention was designed to include evidence-based strategies shown to improve sleep quality and duration. The project involved a multi-disciplinary team from CSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy, led by Dr. Aaron Eakman, which included the Center for Community Partnerships, the Assistive Technology and Resource Center, CSU’s Department of Psychology and Mindfulness Institute, and University of Colorado Health.

Upon receiving news of being funded, Cathy Schelly, Co-PI of the REST project and Director of the Center for Community Partnerships and the New Start for Student Veterans Program said:

We recognize that sleep difficulties are a common and troubling issue with military veterans, especially for those who have sustained serious injuries while in military service. We look forward to addressing sleep challenges through the REST project and helping to enhance sleep quality and duration in injured veterans, ultimately contributing to the knowledge base regarding sleep problems in military men and women.

Sleep difficulties are highly prevalent in military veterans, especially those who have experienced service-related trauma and injuries. Insufficient sleep contributes to poor mental health and can negatively impact all areas of day-to-day life, including veterans’ prospects for success in college. An estimated 50,000 servicemen and women have sustained physical injuries in recent military conflicts; another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress (PTS).

The press release can be read in its entirety here.