Menu Close
Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, Irvine

Dr. Sara C. Mednick is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and author of the book, Take a Nap! Change your life. (Workman). She is passionate about understanding how the brain works through her research into sleep. She works to discover ways of boosting cognition through a range of different interventions including napping, brain stimulation and pharmacology. Her work has been continuously federally funded (National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense Office of Naval Research, DARPA). Dr. Mednick was awarded the Office Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2015. Her research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets
She received a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in Drama/Dance. After college, her experience working in the psychiatry department at Bellevue Hospital in New York, inspired her to study the brain and how to make humans smarter through better sleep. She received a PhD in Psychology from Harvard University, and then completed a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego. She resides in San Diego, CA.


  • 2018–present
    Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
  • 2011–2017
    Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside


Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award