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Photo of Izci-Balserak, Bilgay

Bilgay Izci-Balserak, MS, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science

Pronouns: Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

638 NURS


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:



Dr. Izci Balserak’s research focuses on sleep disturbances including sleep disturbances, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), circadian misalignment, and their relationship to adverse health outcomes, with a particular interest in women's health (including childbearing and midlife women). Her specific research attention is dedicated to (1) determining the sleep-related determinants of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes (i.e. pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and intrauterine growth retardation), (2) identifying the risk factors for SDB, (3) producing a screening tool for SDB in the pregnant population, and (4) developing behavioral interventions to prevent sleep-related metabolic adverse health outcomes.  She is currently working on an NIH-funded (R01) research project titled “Sleep B.E.T.T.E.R. Lifestyle Counselling During Pregnancy”.

Dr. Izci Balserak is happy to supervise Ph.D. students who wish to study sleep disturbances including sleep disturbances, sleep-disordered breathing, circadian misalignment, and their relationship to adverse health outcomes especially in women (including childbearing and midlife women).

Selected Grants

NHLBI Institutional Training, T32 Postdoctoral Training Grant. Training in Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Allan Pack, PI, Post-doctoral Fellow

NIH-NINR K99, Sleep Related Determinants of Gestational Diabetes, Principal Investigator

NIH-NINR R00, Sleep Related Determinants of Gestational Diabetes, Principal Investigator

NIH-NIMHD R01, A Randomized Control Trial to improve metabolic outcomes in African American pregnant women, Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

(name in italics is the senior author)

Dominguez JE, Cantrell S, Habib AS, Izci-Balserak B, Lockhart E, Louis JM, Miskovic A, Nadler JW, Nagappa M, O’Brien LM, Won C, Bourjeily G. Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine and the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology Consensus Guideline on the Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment of OSA in Pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 142 (2), 403–423.  DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005261. PMID: 37411038.

Jun J., Park C., Fritschi C., Balserak B., Martyn-Nemeth P., Kuna S., & Kapella M. Behavioral interventions and symptom cluster change in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and insomnia. 2023 Heart & Lung 64:6-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2023.11.001. PMID: 37976563.

Jun J, Park C, Fritschi C, Balserak B, Martyn-Nemeth P, Kuna S, Kapella M. Symptom Cluster Profiles in Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Insomnia. West J Nurs Res. 2023 Sep;45(9):789-799. doi: 10.1177/01939459231184709. PMID: 37377369.

Mu Y, Wang Y, Yuan J, Knutson KL, Zhu D, Izci-Balserak B, Wu Y, Zhu B. Cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Chinese version of the sleep health index. Sleep Health 2023; 9(1): 117-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleh.2022.09.005. PMID: 36307320.

Hannan M, Thanakrit J, Izci-Balserak B, Ajilore OA, Lash J, Joe XZ. Bronas UG, The Relationship Between Sleep and Brain Function in Older Adults With Chronic Kidney Disease and Self-Identified Cognitive Impairment. J Gerontol Nurs. 2023 Jul;49(7):31-39. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20230616-01. Epub 2023 Jul 1. PMID: 37379049.

Izci Balserak B. Hermann R, Hernandez TL, Buhimschi C, Park C. Evening blue-light exposure, maternal glucose, and infant birthweight. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2022 Sep;1515(1):276-284. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14852. Epub 2022 Jun 28. PMID: 35764595; PMCID: PMC9489633.

Srimoragot M, Hershberger PE, Park C, Hernandez TL, Izci Balserak B. Infant feeding type and maternal sleep during the postpartum period: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of sleep research. 2023 32(2); e13625.

Izci-Balserak B, Zhu B, Wang H, Bronas UG, Gooneratne NS. Independent associations between sleep duration, gamma gap, and cognitive function among older adults: Results from the NHANES 2013-2014. Geriatr Nurs. 2022;44:1-7.

Imayama I, Izci Balserak B, Gupta A, Munoz T, Srimoragot M, Keenan BT, Kuna ST, Prasad B. Racial Differences in Functional and Sleep Outcomes with Positive Airway Pressure Treatment. Diagnostics. Diagnostics 2021, 11(12), 2176;

Zhu B, Yin Y, Shi C, Chaiard J, Park C, Chen X, Izci-Balserak B. Feasibility of sleep extension and its effect on cardiometabolic parameters in free-living settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. May 2021. doi:10.1093/eurjcn/zvab055

 Zhu B, Grandner M, Jackson N, Pien G, Knutson K, Srimoragot M. Izci Balserak B. Associations between Diet and Sleep Duration in Different Menopausal Stages. Western Journal of Nursing Research. January 2021. doi:10.1177/0193945920986788.

Zhu B, Chen X, Park CG, Zhu D, Izci-Balserak B.  Fatigue and Sleep Quality Predict Eating Behavior among People with Type 2 Diabetes Nursing Research Nov 2020. 69(6):419-426 01

Al-Khafaji H, Izci-Balserak B, Tamim H, Assaf G. Knowledge and attitude of primary care physicians towards obstructive sleep apnea in the Middle East and North Africa region. Sleep Breath. 2020. doi: 10.1007/s11325-020-02137-7

Zhu, B., Bronas, UG, Carley, DW, Lee, K, Steffen, A, Kapella, MC, Izci‐Balserak B. Relationships between objective sleep parameters and inflammatory biomarkers in pregnancy. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2020. doi:10.1111/nyas.14375

Zhu B, Chen X, Park CG, Zhu D, Izci-Balserak B. Fatigue and Sleep Quality Predict Eating Behavior Among People with Type 2 Diabetes. Nursing Research. 2020. DOI: 10.1097/nnr.0000000000000447.

Zhu, B, Feng T, Izci-Balserak B. Using Research Electronic Data Capture for Longitudinal Assessment Among Older Adults With Diabetes Enhances Real-Time Data Collection, CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: June 25, 2020 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print – Issue – doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000641

Izci-Balserak B, Pien G, Mastrogiannis D, Park C, Quinn L. Prasad B, Herdegen J, Carley D. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with newly-diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2020., PMID:32040334.

Izci Balserak B. Sleep-disordered Breathing in Pregnancy Part 1.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Nov 1;200(9):P18-P19. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2009P18. PMID:31674822 (Peer-Reviewed).

Izci Balserak B, Zhu B, Gurubhagavatula I, Keenan BT, Pien GW. A Screening Algorithm for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019;16(10):1286-1294. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201902-131OC. PMID: 31162952.

Izci Balserak B, Keenan BT, Corbitt C, Staley B, Perlis M, Pien GW. Changes in sleep characteristics and breathing parameters during sleep in early and late pregnancy. J Clin Sleep Med. 14(7):1161–1168, 2018.

Izci Balserak B, Zhu, B., Grandner, M., Jackson, N., Pien, G. Obstructive sleep apnea in pregnancy: Performance of a rapid screening tool. Sleep and Breathing., 2018.

Zhu, Sauer R, Wu L, Simon L, Shah K, Khainark U, Izci Balserak B. Objective sleep in pregnant women: a comparison of actigraphy and polysomnography. Sleep Health. 4(5):390–396, 2018.

Reutrakul S, Anothaisintawee T, Herring S, Marc I, Izci Balserak B, Thakkinstian A. Short sleep duration and hyperglycemia in pregnancy: Aggregate and individual patient data meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2017. PMID:29103944.

Grandner MA, Jackson NJ, Izci Balserak B, Gallagher RA, Murray-Bachmann R, Williams NJ, Patel NP, Jean-Louis G. Social and Behavioral Determinants of Perceived Insufficient Sleep. Front Neurol.6:112, 2015. PMCID: PMC4456880.

Izci Balserak B. Sleep Disordered Breathing in Pregnancy. Breathe (official journal of the European Respiratory Society). 11:268–277, 2015.


Media Interviews and Coverage

2023    Reporter: Smithers Peckham, T. Maternity Care Deserts: Home to Sleepless Nights, Exhausted Days