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Danica Parfyonov BA (VIU), MA (SFU), PhD (SFU), Postdoctoral Fellowship (Stanford)
Danica Parfyonov completed her undergraduate training in psychology at Vancouver Island University. She went on to complete her graduate training at SFU and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University. She enjoys teaching and has previously taught courses on sleep and circadian rhythms, biological psychology, drugs and behavior and health psychology at UBC Okanagana and VIU. Her research interests focus on the relationship between sleep, circadian rhyhtms and health. When not working Danica enjoys spending time with her family and pets.
Areas of Interest
Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Health.
My interests are in exploring the bidirectional relationship between sleep and human health, most specifically mental health. Currently I’m interested in exploring 3 broad research areas:
- Characterizing sleep during the peripartum period in parents, and how these changes impact health outcomes across the family. I have a particular interest in the role of sleep quality on peripartum depression and anxiety, and the utility of sleep management techniques as a therapeutic strategy.
- Exploring the relationship between sleep quality and affective disorders. Mounting evidence suggests that poor sleep quality in part predicts the onset and severity of affective disorders, while improving sleep quality can be therapeutic their management. Characterizing this relationship could help develop sleep based intervention strategies..
- Sleep Circadian Rhythms and Obesity. Currently, intermittent fasting is being touted as a trendy dieting strategy. Scientifically “intermittent fasting” has been studied by chronobiologists for decades, but termed restricted feeding. This work has primarily been conducted in animal models. Characterizing how sleep and feeding schedules influence health and specifically obesity are of interest to me.