David Kambach

Research interest

Dr. Kalmbach is a licensed clinical psychologist. He earned his PhD in clinical psychology from Kent State University after completing his internship at the Ann Arbor Veterans Health System – University of Michigan Medical School consortium in 2014. He then completed an APA-accredited postdoctoral residency at the University of Michigan Medical School where he received clinical and research training in perinatal mental health and behavioral sleep medicine. He was funded by the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute on a T32 fellowship from 2016 to 2018 for his work in sleep disorders research. He joined Henry Ford Health in 2018 and currently serves as the Co-Director of the Perinatal Sleep Health Institute and the Director of its clinical core, the Perinatal Sleep Clinic. He is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for his research on treating insomnia and depression during pregnancy. He recently completed an NIMH study on preventing depression in the general adult population through the use of sleep therapeutics in primary care. He has previously been funded by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for his research on sleep in pregnancy. Presently, Dr. Kalmbach is Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Assistant Scientist in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Henry Ford Health.


Reflecting his clinical practice and research over the past decade, Dr. Kalmbach primarily focuses on sleep and mental illness during pregnancy and postpartum. His work has shown that half of pregnant women suffer from clinical insomnia and that untreated insomnia increases risk for depression and suicidal thoughts during pregnancy and postpartum. Dr. Kalmbach is especially interested in cognitive arousal at night (e.g., worry or ruminating while trying to sleep) as a risk factor insomnia, depression, and suicidal thoughts during peripartum. His recent work has shown that reducing nocturnal cognitive arousal is an important treatment mechanism for improving sleep and mood through psychotherapy.

Dr. Kalmbach developed Perinatal Understanding of Mindful Awareness for Sleep (PUMAS), which is a psychotherapy protocol designed specifically for pregnant women with insomnia. PUMAS combines behavioral sleep strategies and mindfulness with all components tailored to pregnancy. The PUMAS manual is freely available upon request or from The Henry Ford Perinatal sleep Health Institute. Published reports show PUMAS improves sleep, alleviates depression, and reduces nighttime worry and rumination during pregnancy.

Dr. Kalmbach also has interests outside of peripartum and has published several important works in the general adult population, including evidence showing insomnia is a robust risk factor for major depression; treating insomnia prevents development of major depression; treating insomnia alleviates and prevents suicidal thoughts; mindfulness-based therapy is efficacious for treatment-resistant insomnia; and poor and insufficient sleep increases depression, anxiety, and medical errors among physicians.