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Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.


The major focus of my research interest lies in the field of Mind-Body Medicine. Specifically, I am interested in the evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and basic psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the practice of yoga and meditation techniques. These behavioral techniques include specific manipulations of respiratory frequency and tidal volume, maintenance of body postures and stretching exercises, and meditation, which involves relaxed control of attention in a manner that precludes ruminative thought. These practices are known to produce a coordinated psychophysiological response that has been called the relaxation response, which is associated with a reduction in arousal and a sense of relaxation and well-being. These techniques have been found to be effective for many disorders that have a psychosomatic component and are exacerbated by stress. As behavioral techniques, these practices provide patients with the opportunity for direct involvement in their healthcare, not only reducing the severity of their disorder, but also improving their quality of life. In many cases, these techniques are more effective than existing pharmacological treatments, many of which have side effects.

I am currently conducting research studies on the treatment of insomnia with yoga and meditation techniques. I am also interested in the potential effectiveness of these techniques in insomnia secondary to other conditions such as depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia and in other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome.

I am also evaluating the effectiveness of yoga treatments for disorders that have strong psychosomatic components or are stress-related, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. In addition to assessing improvements in disease-specific measures, these studies will evaluate measures that are known to show improvement with yoga and meditation practice such as subjective mood, measures of stress such as cortisol and catecholamine levels, and autonomic arousal as measured by heart rate variability analysis. A central project in my laboratory is the evaluation of mental health benefits of yoga in children and adolescents in school settings. I am also interested in basic research that will address the mind-body mechanisms by which yoga and meditation generate psychophysiological changes and improve disease severity.

Effect of Yoga on Autonomic Physiology and Sleep Onset
Summer, 06/11/01 - 08/31/01

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Khalsa SB. Author response to manuscript: "religious behavior, sleep quantity, sleep quality, and sleep disorders in American adults". J Behav Health Serv Res. 2013 Jan; 40(1):135. PMID: 23188488.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  2. Büssing A, Khalsa SB, Michalsen A, Sherman KJ, Telles S. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012:174291. PMID: 23243431.
    Citations: 2     
  3. Rüger M, St Hilaire MA, Brainard GC, Khalsa SB, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Human phase response curve to a single 6.5 h pulse of short-wavelength light. J Physiol. 2013 Jan 01; 591(1):353-63. PMID: 23090946.
    Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  4. Büssing A, Michalsen A, Khalsa SB, Telles S, Sherman KJ. Effects of yoga on mental and physical health: a short summary of reviews. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012:165410. PMID: 23008738.
    Citations: 37     
  5. Stern JR, Khalsa SB, Hofmann SG. A yoga intervention for music performance anxiety in conservatory students. Med Probl Perform Art. 2012 Sep; 27(3):123-8. PMID: 22983129.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  6. St Hilaire MA, Gooley JJ, Khalsa SB, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Human phase response curve to a 1 h pulse of bright white light. J Physiol. 2012 Jul 01; 590(13):3035-45. PMID: 22547633.
    Citations: 35     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  7. Noggle JJ, Steiner NJ, Minami T, Khalsa SB. Benefits of yoga for psychosocial well-being in a US high school curriculum: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2012 Apr; 33(3):193-201. PMID: 22343481.
    Citations: 23     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  8. Silverthorne C, Khalsa SB, Gueth R, DeAvilla N, Pansini J. Respiratory, physical, and psychological benefits of breath-focused yoga for adults with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI): a brief pilot study report. Int J Yoga Therap. 2012; (22):47-51. PMID: 23070671.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  9. Khalsa SB, Hickey-Schultz L, Cohen D, Steiner N, Cope S. Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2012 Jan; 39(1):80-90. PMID: 21647811.
    Citations: 25     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  10. Gooley JJ, Chamberlain K, Smith KA, Khalsa SB, Rajaratnam SM, Van Reen E, Zeitzer JM, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar; 96(3):E463-72. PMID: 21193540.
    Citations: 61     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Cain SW, Dennison CF, Zeitzer JM, Guzik AM, Khalsa SB, Santhi N, Schoen MW, Czeisler CA, Duffy JF. Sex differences in phase angle of entrainment and melatonin amplitude in humans. J Biol Rhythms. 2010 Aug; 25(4):288-96. PMID: 20679498.
    Citations: 38     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  12. Jung CM, Khalsa SB, Scheer FA, Cajochen C, Lockley SW, Czeisler CA, Wright KP. Acute effects of bright light exposure on cortisol levels. J Biol Rhythms. 2010 Jun; 25(3):208-16. PMID: 20484692.
    Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Hartfiel N, Havenhand J, Khalsa SB, Clarke G, Krayer A. The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2011 Jan; 37(1):70-6. PMID: 20369218.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  14. Khalsa SB, Shorter SM, Cope S, Wyshak G, Sklar E. Yoga ameliorates performance anxiety and mood disturbance in young professional musicians. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2009 Dec; 34(4):279-89. PMID: 19657730.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  15. Khalsa SB, Khalsa GS, Khalsa HK, Khalsa MK. Evaluation of a residential Kundalini yoga lifestyle pilot program for addiction in India. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2008; 7(1):67-79. PMID: 19842301.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  16. St Hilaire MA, Klerman EB, Khalsa SB, Wright KP, Czeisler CA, Kronauer RE. Addition of a non-photic component to a light-based mathematical model of the human circadian pacemaker. J Theor Biol. 2007 Aug 21; 247(4):583-99. PMID: 17531270.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  17. Khalsa SB, Cope S. Effects of a yoga lifestyle intervention on performance-related characteristics of musicians: a preliminary study. Med Sci Monit. 2006 Aug; 12(8):CR325-31. PMID: 16865063.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  18. Zeitzer JM, Khalsa SB, Boivin DB, Duffy JF, Shanahan TL, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA. Temporal dynamics of late-night photic stimulation of the human circadian timing system. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Sep; 289(3):R839-44. PMID: 15890792.
    Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  19. Khalsa SB. Treatment of chronic insomnia with yoga: a preliminary study with sleep-wake diaries. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2004 Dec; 29(4):269-78. PMID: 15707256.
    Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
  20. Khalsa SB. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention: a bibliometric analysis of published research studies. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2004 Jul; 48(3):269-85. PMID: 15648399.
    Citations: 43     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  21. Khalsa SB, Jewett ME, Cajochen C, Czeisler CA. A phase response curve to single bright light pulses in human subjects. J Physiol. 2003 Jun 15; 549(Pt 3):945-52. PMID: 12717008.
    Citations: 153     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
  22. Khalsa SB, Conroy DA, Duffy JF, Czeisler CA, Dijk DJ. Sleep- and circadian-dependent modulation of REM density. J Sleep Res. 2002 Mar; 11(1):53-9. PMID: 11869427.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  23. Klerman EB, Zeitzer JM, Duffy JF, Khalsa SB, Czeisler CA. Absence of an increase in the duration of the circadian melatonin secretory episode in totally blind human subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Jul; 86(7):3166-70. PMID: 11443183.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  24. Jewett ME, Duffy JF, Czeisler CA. The timing of the human circadian clock is accurately represented by the core body temperature rhythm following phase shifts to a three-cycle light stimulus near the critical zone. J Biol Rhythms. 2000 Dec; 15(6):524-30. PMID: 11106069.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  25. Cajochen C, Khalsa SB, Wyatt JK, Czeisler CA, Dijk DJ. EEG and ocular correlates of circadian melatonin phase and human performance decrements during sleep loss. Am J Physiol. 1999 Sep; 277(3 Pt 2):R640-9. PMID: 10484479.
    Citations: 62     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  26. Jewett ME, Wyatt JK, Ritz-De Cecco A, Khalsa SB, Dijk DJ, Czeisler CA. Time course of sleep inertia dissipation in human performance and alertness. J Sleep Res. 1999 Mar; 8(1):1-8. PMID: 10188130.
    Citations: 38     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  27. Khalsa SS. Experiences of an American Sikh chaplain in a Christian world. J Pastoral Care. 1999; 53(4):473-5. PMID: 11185297.
    Citations: 1     Translation:Humans
  28. Herzog ED, Geusz ME, Khalsa SB, Straume M, Block GD. Circadian rhythms in mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus explants on multimicroelectrode plates. Brain Res. 1997 May 23; 757(2):285-90. PMID: 9200759.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  29. Khalsa SB, Michel S, Block GD. The role of extracellular sodium in the mechanism of a neuronal in vitro circadian pacemaker. Chronobiol Int. 1997 Jan; 14(1):1-8. PMID: 9042546.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  30. Khalsa SB, Whitmore D, Bogart B, Block GD. Evidence for a central role of transcription in the timing mechanism of a circadian clock. Am J Physiol. 1996 Nov; 271(5 Pt 1):C1646-51. PMID: 8944648.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  31. Block GD, Geusz M, Khalsa SB, Michel S, Whitmore D. Circadian rhythm generation, expression and entrainment in a molluscan model system. Prog Brain Res. 1996; 111:93-102. PMID: 8990909.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  32. Khalsa SB, Michel S, Block GD. The anesthetic agents pentobarbital and chloralose block phase shifts of a neuronal in vitro circadian pacemaker. Neurosci Lett. 1995 Feb 24; 187(1):41-4. PMID: 7617298.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  33. Khalsa SB, Michel S, Block GD. The effects of lithium on a neuronal in vitro circadian pacemaker. Chronobiol Int. 1993 Oct; 10(5):321-30. PMID: 8261531.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  34. Aronson BD, Bell-Pedersen D, Block GD, Bos NP, Dunlap JC, Eskin A, Garceau NY, Geusz ME, Johnson KA, Khalsa SB, et al. Circadian rhythms. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1993 Sep-Dec; 18(3):315-33. PMID: 8401597.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  35. Block GD, Khalsa SB, McMahon DG, Michel S, Guesz M. Biological clocks in the retina: cellular mechanisms of biological timekeeping. Int Rev Cytol. 1993; 146:83-144. PMID: 8360015.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  36. Khalsa SB, Ralph MR, Block GD. The role of extracellular calcium in generating and in phase-shifting the Bulla ocular circadian rhythm. J Biol Rhythms. 1993; 8(2):125-39. PMID: 8369549.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  37. Khalsa SB, Whitmore D, Block GD. Stopping the circadian pacemaker with inhibitors of protein synthesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Nov 15; 89(22):10862-6. PMID: 1438290.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  38. Michel S, Khalsa SB, Block GD. Phase shifting of the circadian rhythm in the eye of Bulla by inhibition of chloride conductance. Neurosci Lett. 1992 Nov 09; 146(2):219-22. PMID: 1283451.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  39. Colwell CS, Khalsa SB, Block GD. Cellular mechanisms of entrainment. Chronobiol Int. 1992 Jun; 9(3):163-79. PMID: 1611673.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  40. Khalsa SB, Block GD. Phase-shifting of a neuronal circadian pacemaker in Bulla gouldiana by pentylenetetrazol. Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1992 Apr; 101(3):557-60. PMID: 1354133.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  41. Colwell CS, Khalsa SB, Block GD. FMRFamide modulates the action of phase shifting agents on the ocular circadian pacemakers of Aplysia and Bulla. J Comp Physiol A. 1992 Feb; 170(2):211-5. PMID: 1583606.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  42. Khalsa SB, Ralph MR, Block GD. Does low intracellular pH stop the motion of the Bulla circadian pacemaker? J Neurosci. 1991 Sep; 11(9):2672-9. PMID: 1880543.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  43. Khalsa SB, Ralph MR, Block GD. Chloride conductance contributes to period determination of a neuronal circadian pacemaker. Brain Res. 1990 Jun 18; 520(1-2):166-9. PMID: 1698502.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  44. Khalsa SB, Block GD. Calcium in phase control of the Bulla circadian pacemaker. Brain Res. 1990 Jan 01; 506(1):40-5. PMID: 2302556.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  45. Khalsa SB, Block GD. Calcium channels mediate phase shifts of the Bulla circadian pacemaker. J Comp Physiol A. 1988 Dec; 164(2):195-206. PMID: 2854162.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  46. Khalsa SB, Tomlinson RD, Schwarz DW. Secondary vestibular and neck position signals in the vestibular nuclei of alert rhesus monkeys performing active head movements. Acta Otolaryngol. 1988 Sep-Oct; 106(3-4):269-75. PMID: 2845709.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  47. Khalsa SB, Block GD. Phase-shifts of the Bulla ocular circadian pacemaker in the presence of calmodulin antagonists. Life Sci. 1988; 43(19):1551-6. PMID: 3193847.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  48. Khalsa SB, Tomlinson RD, Schwarz DW, Landolt JP. Vestibular nuclear neuron activity during active and passive head movement in the alert rhesus monkey. J Neurophysiol. 1987 May; 57(5):1484-97. PMID: 3585476.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.