Soomi Lee, Ph.D.

Soomi Lee, Ph.D.


Sleep; Work and Family; Daily Stressors and Resources; Lifespan Developmental Trajectory of Health Behaviors; Micro-longitudinal Methods


Description of Research Interests

My research interests and expertise cover a broad range of topics in the domain of sleep, stress, and health, with a special focus on the population of middle-aged workers. I am particularly interested in the role of occupational environment in stress, sleep, and various health outcomes including cardiovascular health, cognitive functioning, and chronic diseases.

Despite the increase in aging research targeting middle adulthood rather than strictly older adulthood, still little is known about how the interplay between stress and sleep during middle adulthood contributes to health in later adulthood. Middle-aged adults typically have greater pressures stemming from multiple responsibilities both at work and at home (e.g., work-family conflict), which may degrade their sleep and health. Given their multiple roles, I also examine how work-related stressors and resources in middle-aged workers are associated with health and well-being of the family members, including children, spouse/partner, and older parents.

Overall, my research program targets to decrease work-related stress and promote sleep and health in middle-aged workers and their families. To achieve these objectives, I conduct population-based, interdisciplinary studies by using various study designs and methods, including survey, daily diary, sleep actigraphy (an objective method of monitoring sleep), and biomarkers. I have worked on diverse project data sets, such as the Work, Family & Health Study and Midlife in the United States Study (see below for more projects). Through these research projects, I study cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between work-related stress, sleep, and health and the causal effects of workplace-based interventions on decreasing work-related stress and thereby improving sleep and health across occupations. My recently funded pilot project targets to examine sleep health in cancer center nurses and its association with work performance 

Ongoing Research Support

Internal Grant Program Award (Lee, PI)

01/2019-01/2020, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida

“Cancer center nurses’ sleep health and its association with work performance”

We investigate sleep health of cancer center nurses (CCNs) and test risk/protective factors and cognitive outcomes of sleep health. We will recruit 50 nurses who provide direct care to cancer patients to: (1) document their sleep health in multiple forms (measured by actigraphy and ambulatory assessments) and examine its associations with cognitive performance at work, (2) examine demographic, work, and psychosocial characteristics associated with their sleep health, and (3) assess the feasibility of a future intervention to improve CCNs’ sleep health.


Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

PubMed Publications

Lee, S., Buxton, O. M., Andel, R., & Almeida, D. M. (2019). Bidirectional associations of sleep with cognitive interference in employees’ work days. Sleep Health. Epub ahead of print. PMCID: PMC6239632

Lee, S., Mogle, J. A., Jackson, C., & Buxton, O. M. (2019). What’s not fair about work keeps me up: Perceived unfairness about work impairs sleep through negative work-to-family spillover. Social Science & Research. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2019.03.002

Chen, T-Y., Lee, S., Schade, M. M., & Buxton, O. M. (2019). Longitudinal relationship between sleep health and pain symptoms among community-dwelling older adults in Japan and Singapore. Sleep, 4(2), 1-11. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsy219.

Lawson, K. M., & Lee, S. (2018). Better previous night sleep is associated with less next day work-to-family conflict mediated by higher work performance among female nursing home workers. Sleep Health, 4(5), 485-491. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2018.07.005

Lee, S., Hale, L., Chang, A-M., Nahmod, N. G., Master, L., Berger, L., & Buxton, O. M. (2018). Longitudinal associations of childhood bedtime and sleep routines with adolescent body mass index. Sleep, 42(1)doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsy202 [Epub ahead of print]

Buxton, O. M., Lee, S., Marino, M., Beverly C., Almeida, D. M., & Berkman, L. (2018). Sleep health and predicted cardiometabolic risk scores in 2 employed adult samples. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14 (3), 371-383.doi: 10.5664/jcsm.6980

Almeida, D. M., Lee, S., Walter, K. N., & Lawson, K. M. & Buxton, O. M. (2017). The effect of a workplace intervention on employees’ cortisol awakening response. Community, Work & Family, 21(2), 151-167.doi: 10.1080/13668803.2018.1428172

Lee, S., Martire, L. M., Damaske, S. A., Mogle, J. A., Zhaoyang, R., Almeida, D. M., & Buxton, O. M. (2018). Covariation in couples’ nightly sleep and gender differences.Sleep Health, 4(2), 201-208.doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2017.10.009

Lee, S., McHale, S. M., Crouter, A. C., Kelly, E. L., Buxton O. M., & Almeida, D. M. (2017). Perceived time adequacy improves daily well-being: Day-to-day linkages and the effects of a workplace intervention. Community, Work & Family, 20(5), 500-522. doi: 10.1080/13668803.2017.1365691

Chen, T-Y., Lee, S., & Buxton, O. M. (2017). A greater extent of insomnia symptoms and physician-recommended sleep medication use predict fall risk in community-dwelling older adults. Sleep, 40(11), zsx142. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx142 

Lee, S., McHale, S. M., Crouter, A. C., Hammer, L. B., & Almeida, D. M. (2017). Finding time over time: Longitudinal links between employed mothers’ work-family conflict and time profiles.The Journal of Family Psychology, 31(5), 604-615. doi: 10.1037/fam0000303

Lee, S., Crain, T. L., McHale, S. M., Almeida, D. M., & Buxton, O. M. (2016). Daily antecedents and consequences of nightly sleep. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(4), 498-509. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12488

Lee, S., Almeida, D. M., Berkman, L., Olson, R., Moen, P., & Buxton, O. M. (2016). Age differences in workplace intervention effects on employees’ nighttime and daytime sleep. Sleep Health, 2(4), 289-296. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2016.08.004

Buxton, O., Lee, S., Beverly, C., Berkman, L. F., Moen, P., Kelly, E., Hammer, L., & Almeida, D. M. (2016). Work-family conflict and sleep: Evidence from Information Technology employees. Sleep, 38(10), 1871-1882. doi: 10.5665/sleep.6172

Lee, S., Koffer, R., Sprague, B., Charles, S. T., Ram, N. & Almeida, D. M. (2016). Activity diversity and its associations with psychological well-being across adulthood. The Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences, gbw118. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw118  

Lee, S., Davis, K. D., Neuendorf, C., Grandey, A., Lam, C. B. & Almeida, D. M. (2016). Individual and organizational work-to-family spillover are uniquely associated with hotel managers’ work exhaustion and satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology: Organizational Psychology, 7(1180). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01180.

Almeida, D. M., Davis, K. D., Lee, S., Lawson, K., Walter, K., & Moen, P. (2015). Supervisor support buffers daily psychological and physiological reactivity to work-to-family conflict. Journal of Marriage & Family, 78(1), 165-179. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12252

Lee, S., Almeida, D. M., Davis, K. D., King, R. B., Hammer, L. B., & Kelly, E. (2015). Latent profiles of time adequacy for paid-work, parenting, and partner roles. The Journal of Family Psychology, 29(5), 788-798. doi: 10.1037/a0039433

Classes Taught

Undergraduate Teaching (School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida)

Undergraduate Teaching (Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, University Park)