1. People who sleep less than 8 hours a night more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety

    January 18, 2018 by Ashley

    From the Binghamton University press release:

    Sleeping less than the recommended eight hours a night is associated with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

    Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith Coles and former graduate student Jacob Nota assessed the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts (e.g., worry and rumination). The research participants were exposed to different pictures intended to trigger an emotional response, and researchers tracked their attention through their eye movements. The researchers discovered that regular sleep disruptions are associated with difficulty in shifting one’s attention away from negative information. This may mean that inadequate sleep is part of what makes negative intrusive thoughts stick around and interfere with people’s lives .

    “We found that people in this study have some tendencies to have thoughts get stuck in their heads, and their elevated negative thinking makes it difficult for them to disengage with the negative stimuli that we exposed them to,” said Coles. “While other people may be able to receive negative information and move on, the participants had trouble ignoring it.”

    These negative thoughts are believed to leave people vulnerable to different types of psychological disorders, such as anxiety or depression, said Coles.

    “We realized over time that this might be important — this repetitive negative thinking is relevant to several different disorders like anxiety, depression and many other things,” said Coles. “This is novel in that we’re exploring the overlap between sleep disruptions and the way they affect these basic processes that help in ignoring those obsessive negative thoughts.”

    The researchers are further exploring this discovery, evaluating how the timing and duration of sleep may also contribute to the development or maintenance of psychological disorders. If their theories are correct, their research could potentially allow psychologists to treat anxiety and depression by shifting patients’ sleep cycles to a healthier time or making it more likely a patient will sleep when they get in bed.

    The paper, “Shorter sleep duration and longer sleep onset latency are related to difficulty disengaging attention from negative emotional images in individuals with elevated transdiagnostic repetitive negative thinking” was published in ScienceDirect.


  2. Seeing gene influencing performance of sleep-deprived people

    January 10, 2018 by Ashley

    From the Washington State University press release:

    Washington State University researchers have discovered a genetic variation that predicts how well people perform certain mental tasks when they are sleep deprived.

    Their research shows that individuals with a particular variation of the DRD2 gene are resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation when completing tasks that require cognitive flexibility, the ability to make appropriate decisions based on changing information.

    Sleep-deprived people with two other variations of the gene tend to perform much more poorly on the same kinds of tasks, the researchers found.

    The DRD2 dopamine receptor gene influences the processing of information in the striatum, a region of the brain that is known to be involved in cognitive flexibility.

    “Our work shows that there are people who are resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation when it comes to cognitive flexibility. Surprisingly these same people are just as affected as everyone else on other tasks that require different cognitive abilities, such as maintaining focus,” said Paul Whitney, a WSU professor of psychology and lead author of the study, which appeared in the journal Scientific Reports. “This confirms something we have long suspected, namely that the effects of sleep deprivation are not general in nature, but rather depend on the specific task and the genes of the person performing the task.”

    Why sleep loss affects us differently

    When deprived of sleep, some people respond better than others. Scientists have identified genes associated with this, but they have wondered why the effects of sleep loss tend to vary widely across both individuals and cognitive tasks. For example, after a day without sleep, some people might struggle with a reaction time test but perform well on decision-making tasks, or vice versa.

    In the current study, Whitney, along with colleagues John Hinson, WSU professor of psychology, and Hans Van Dongen, director of the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane, compared how people with different variations of the DRD2 gene performed on tasks designed to test both their ability to anticipate events and their cognitive flexibility in response to changing circumstances.

    Forty-nine adults participated in the study at the WSU Spokane sleep laboratory. After a 10-hour rest period, 34 participants were randomly selected to go 38 hours without sleep while the other participants were allowed to sleep normally.

    Before and after the period of sleep deprivation, subjects were shown a series of letter pairings on a computer screen and told to click the left mouse button for a certain letter combination (e.g., an A followed by an X) and the right mouse button for all other letter pairs. After a while, both the sleep-deprived group and the rested group were able to identify the pattern and click correctly for various letter pairs.

    Then came the tricky part: in the middle of the task, researchers told the participants to now click the left mouse button for a different letter combination. The sudden switch confounded most of the sleep-deprived participants, but those who had a particular variation of the DRD2 gene handled the switch as well as they did when well-rested.

    “Our research shows this particular gene influences a person’s ability to mentally change direction when given new information,” Van Dongen said. “Some people are protected from the effects of sleep deprivation by this particular gene variation but, for most of us, sleep loss does something to the brain that simply prevents us from switching gears when circumstances change.”

    Training to cope with sleep loss

    Sleep deprivation’s effect on cognitive flexibility can have serious consequences, especially in high stakes, real-world situations like an emergency room or military operations where the ability to respond to changing circumstances is critical. For example, after a night without sleep, a surgeon might notice a spike in a patient’s vital signs midway through a procedure but be unable to use this information to decide on a better course of action.

    The WSU research team is currently applying what they learned from their study to develop new ways to help surgeons, police officers, soldiers and other individuals who regularly deal with the effects of sleep deprivation in critical, dynamic settings cope with the loss of cognitive flexibility.

    “Our long-term goal is to be able to train people so that no matter what their genetic composition is, they will be able to recognize and respond appropriately to changing scenarios, and be less vulnerable to sleep loss.” Whitney said. “Of course, the more obvious solution is to just get some sleep, but in a lot of real-world situations, we don’t have that luxury.”


  3. Study suggests offbeat brainwaves during sleep make older adults forget

    January 1, 2018 by Ashley

    From the University of California – Berkeley press release:

    Like swinging a tennis racket during a ball toss to serve an ace, slow and speedy brainwaves during deep sleep must sync up at exactly the right moment to hit the save button on new memories, according to new UC Berkeley research.

    While these brain rhythms, occurring hundreds of times a night, move in perfect lockstep in young adults, findings published in the journal Neuron show that, in old age, slow waves during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep fail to make timely contact with speedy electrical bursts known as “spindles.”

    “The mistiming prevents older people from being able to effectively hit the save button on new memories, leading to overnight forgetting rather than remembering,” said study senior author Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology and director of the campus’s Center for Human Sleep Science.

    “As the brain ages, it cannot precisely coordinate these two deep-sleep brain waves,” Walker added. “Like a tennis player who is off their game, they’re swiping and missing.”

    In tennis lingo, for example, the slow brainwaves or oscillations represent the ball toss while the spindles symbolize the swing of the racket as it aims to make contact with the ball and serve an ace.

    “Timing is everything. Only when the slow waves and spindles come together in a very narrow opportunity time window (approximately one-tenth of a second), can the brain effectively place new memories into its long-term storage,” said study lead author Randolph Helfrich, a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at UC Berkeley

    Moreover, researchers found that the aging brain’s failure to coordinate deep-sleep brainwaves is most likely due to degradation or atrophy of the medial frontal cortex, a key region of the brain’s frontal lobe that generates the deep, restorative slumber that we enjoy in our youth.

    “The worse the atrophy in this brain region of older adults, the more uncoordinated and poorly timed are their deep-sleep brainwaves,” Walker said. “But there is a silver lining: Sleep is now a new target for potential therapeutic intervention.”

    To amplify slow waves and get them into optimal sync with spindles, researchers plan to apply electrical brain stimulation to the frontal lobe in future experiments.

    “By electrically boosting these nighttime brainwaves, we hope to restore some degree of healthy deep sleep in the elderly and those with dementia, and in doing so, salvage aspects of their learning and memory,” Walker said.

    For the study, researchers compared the overnight memory of 20 healthy adults in their 20s to that of 32 healthy older adults, mostly in their 70s. Before going to bed for a full night’s sleep, participants learned and were then tested on 120 word sets.

    As they slept, researchers recorded their electrical brain-wave activity using scalp electroencephalography (EEG). The next morning, study participants were tested again on the word pairs, this time while undergoing functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans.

    The EEG results showed that in older people, the spindles consistently peaked early in the memory-consolidation cycle and missed syncing up with the slow waves.

    Moreover, brain imaging showed grey matter atrophy in the medial frontal cortex of older adults, which suggests that deterioration within the frontal lobe prevents deep slow waves from perfectly syncing up with spindles.


  4. Study suggests amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

    December 20, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Columbia University Medical Center press release:

    How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night’s sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops, in the hour before bed, despite the fact that such behavior is associated with symptoms of insomnia. The obvious solution is to ditch the technology, but people rarely heed this advice.

    Knowing that individuals with insomnia are also unlikely to change their ways, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center tested a method to reduce the adverse effects of evening ambient light exposure, while still allowing use of blue light-emitting devices. Their findings will be published in the January issue of Journal of Psychiatric Research.

    Smartphones, tablets and other light-emitting devices are lit by LEDs, which have a peak wavelength in the blue portion of the spectrum. Blue light at night suppresses melatonin and increases alertness; the use of amber-tinted lenses that block blue light mitigates these effects.

    The Columbia team, led by Ari Shechter, PhD, assistant professor of medical sciences, reasoned that selectively blocking blue light in the hours before bedtime would lead to improved sleep in individuals with insomnia.

    To test their theory, the researchers recruited 14 individuals with an insomnia diagnosis to take part in a small study. For seven consecutive nights, participants wore wrap-around frames with amber-tinted lenses that blocked blue light or with clear placebo lenses for two hours before bedtime. Four weeks later, participants repeated the protocol with the other set of glasses.

    The researchers found that participants got around 30 minutes extra sleep when they wore the amber lenses compared to the clear lenses. In self-reported sleep surveys, participants also reported greater duration, quality, and soundness of sleep, and an overall reduction in insomnia severity.

    These findings are consistent with prior studies showing a benefit of blue-light-blocking lenses in improving sleep, but should be replicated in larger controlled studies, Shechter said.

    “Now more than ever we are exposing ourselves to high amounts of blue light before bedtime, which may contribute to or exacerbate sleep problems,” Shechter said. “Amber lenses are affordable and they can easily be combined with other established cognitive and behavioral techniques for insomnia management.”

    Many smartphones screens can now be adjusted to emit amber instead of blue light, and Shechter said these settings should help to improve sleep. “I do recommend using the amber setting on smartphones at night, in addition to manually reducing the brightness levels. But blue light does not only come from our phones. It is emitted from televisions, computers, and importantly, from many light bulbs and other LED light sources that are increasingly used in our homes because they are energy-efficient and cost-effective,” he said.

    “The glasses approach allows us to filter out blue-wavelength light from all these sources, which might be particularly useful for individuals with sleep difficulties.”

    The use of amber lenses also appeared to reduce blood pressure in the study’s participants (these data are published in the September issue of Sleep Medicine). “Insomnia is often characterized by physiologic hyperarousal, which may account for the relationship between poor sleep and cardiovascular risk,” Dr Shechter explained. “Going forward, it will be interesting to examine whether this blue-light blocking approach can be useful for improving cardiovascular outcomes like hypertension in individuals with poor sleep.”


  5. Study suggests duration of sleep increases and sleeping difficulties decrease after retirement

    December 16, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Turku press release:

    When people retire from work life, they sleep approximately 20 minutes longer than before retirement. The quality of sleep also improves, as retired people experience less early morning awakenings or nonrestorative sleep, unlike in their last working years.

    Researchers at the University of Turku, Finland, discovered in collaboration with the Finnish Institution of Occupational Health, University of Helsinki, and University College London Medical School that self-reported duration of sleep increased approximately 20 minutes after retirement, and stayed on the achieved level for years after retirement.

    Duration of sleep increased especially for people who had had sleep difficulties or were heavy alcohol users prior to retirement. The duration of sleep increased the most for people who did not get enough sleep during their employment and they slept 45 minutes longer during their retirement.

    – A sufficient amount of sleep is very important for our health and functioning. Individuals have different needs of sleep, but it is recommended for people over the age of 65 to sleep for 7-8 hours a night. Retiring enables people to sleep longer, as work schedules no longer determine the times for sleeping and waking up, states Doctoral Candidate Saana Myllyntausta from the University of Turku, whose dissertation research is part of the study.

    During their last years of employment, different sleep difficulties were experienced by 30 percent of the people. After retiring, only 26 percent of the people were experiencing sleep difficulties. The researchers discovered that, of different kinds of sleep difficulties, people experienced a decrease especially in early morning awakenings and nonrestorative sleep, where a person experiences tiredness and fatigue after sleeping for a regular duration. Sleep difficulties decreased especially among people who experienced their work as stressful and their health as poor before retirement. Sleep difficulties decreased the most for people who experienced psychological distress before retirement.

    – For example, work-related stress is known to disturb sleep. One reason for the decrease in sleeping difficulties during retirement could be the removal of work-related stress, says Myllyntausta.

    The study followed approximately 5,800 people who participated in the Finnish Public Sector study by the Finnish Institution of Occupational Health and who retired on a statutory basis in 2000-2011. The participants estimated their sleep duration and the prevalence of different kinds of sleep difficulties in surveys before and after retiring. The research was funded by the Academy of Finland, Ministry of Education and Culture, and Juho Vainio Foundation.


  6. Study suggests lack of sleep could cause mood disorders in teens

    December 14, 2017 by Ashley

    From the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology press release:

    Chronic sleep deprivation — which can involve staying up late, and waking up early for work or school — has become a way of life for both kids and adults, especially with the increasing use of phones and tablets late into the night. But this social jet lag poses some serious health and mental health risks: new research finds that for teenagers, even a short period of sleep restriction could, over the long-term, raise their risk for depression and addiction.

    University of Pittsburgh’s Peter Franzen and Erika Forbes invited 35 participants, aged 11.5-15 years, into a sleep lab for two nights. Half the participants slept for 10 hours, while the other half slept only four hours. A week later, they came back to the lab for another two nights and adopted the opposite sleep schedule from their initial visit.

    Each time they visited the lab, the participants underwent brain scans while playing a game that involved receiving monetary rewards of $10 and $1. At the end of each visit, the teens answered questions that measured their emotional functioning, as well as depression symptoms.

    The researchers found that sleep deprivation affected the putamen, an area of the brain that plays a role in goal-based movements and learning from rewards. When participants were sleep-deprived and the reward in the game they played was larger, the putamen was less responsive. In the rested condition, the brain region didn’t show any difference between high- and low-reward conditions.

    Franzen and Forbes also found connections between sleep restriction and mood: after a night of restricted sleep, the participants who experienced less activation in the putamen also reported more symptoms of depression. This is consistent with findings, from a large literature of studies on depression and reward circuitry, that depression is characterized by less activity in the brain’s reward system.

    The results suggest that sleep deprivation in the tween and teen years may interfere with how the brain processes rewards, which could disrupt mood and put a person at risk of depression, as well as risk-taking behavior and addiction.


  7. Study suggests restless sleep may be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease

    December 11, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Aarhus University press release:

    Researchers from Aarhus University have discovered that patients with the RBD sleep behaviour disorder lack dopamine and have a form of inflammation of the brain. This means that they are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or dementia when they grow older.

    Do you sleep restlessly and hit out and kick in your sleep? This could be a sign of a disorder associated with diseases of the brain. Researchers from Aarhus University have studied the condition of the dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain and cells that participate in the brain’s immune system in people suffering from the sleep disorder Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, RBD.

    The study shows that patients suffering from RBD have a risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or dementia in the future, because they already suffer from a lack of dopamine in the brain. Parkinson’s disease occurs precisely because the group of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine stop working.

    The RBD sleep disorder is characterised by disturbances in the part of sleep where dreams take place. Healthy people are relaxed and lie still during dream sleep, while people suffering from RBD live out their dreams so that while sleeping they can hit out, kick and shout.

    “These patients have an inflammation of the brain in the area where the dopamine-producing nerve cells are found,” says one of the researchers behind the study, Morten Gersel Stokholm from Aarhus University and the PET Centre at Aarhus University Hospital.

    The findings have just been published in the neurological journal The Lancet Neurology.

    This is completely new knowledge, as researchers have not previously demonstrated that there is a form of inflammation of the brain in patients who are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

    “With this study, we have gained new knowledge about the disease processes in the brain in the early initial stages of the disease development. The idea is for this knowledge to be used to determine which patients with the sleep disorder will later develop Parkinson’s disease. At the same time, this is also knowledge that can help to develop drugs which can stop or slow the development of the diseases,” explains Morten Gersel Stokholm about the sleep disorder which most often affects persons aged 50-70, and more frequently men than women.

    Parkinson’s disease

    There are 7,300 Parkinson’s disease patients in Denmark. Symptoms are slow movements, often with shaking, together with muscular rigidity. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic condition that continues to worsen over time. The disease is somewhat more common in men than in women. Parkinson’s disease occurs because the brain lacks dopamine. It is primarily adults who are affected, and the first signs most often appear between the ages of 50-70.

    Background for the results:

    The study is a case-control study.

    The people behind the project are Medical Doctor and PhD student Morten Gersel Stokholm and Associate Professor, MD, Nicola Pavese in collaboration with medical doctors from the Department of Neurology and the Sleep Clinic, Aarhus University Hospital and medical doctors from the University Hospital Clinic de Barcelona.


  8. Study suggests brain is still ‘connected’ during non-REM sleep

    December 9, 2017 by Ashley

    From the SINC press release:

    When we sleep, our organism goes through different phases of sleep, however the brain remains interconnected during non-REM sleep, which was thought not to happen. The finding by a European team of researchers has also made it possible to analyse the scientific basis of consciousness, an increasingly important field of neuroscience.

    Sleep is composed of various cycles in which there are different stages: slow and fast-wave, which make up non-REM sleep and REM sleep. During the night, it is normal to experience four or five complete cycles, each lasting around ninety minutes.

    Various investigations have shown that communication between different areas of the cerebral cortex is interrupted during non-REM sleep and also when a patient is under anaesthesia, due to the loss of consciousness.

    “It was thought that the brain disconnected during non-REM sleep and that the individual areas could no longer communicate effectively,” explained Umberto Olcese, a researcher from the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences of the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).

    Olcese and the rest of the research team (which involved researchers from the European CANON project and that was led by Prof. Cyriel Pennartz, who participates in the European Flagship Human Brain Project) have discovered that not all forms of communication within the cerebral cortex are lost during non-REM sleep. Specifically, correlations are preserved between neurons located within individual regions and between some subpopulations of neurons located in different cerebral areas.

    To reach these conclusions, published in ‘The Journal of Neuroscience‘, the researchers studied how the brain regulates the neuronal connections of the neocortex and hippocampus in rats.

    Advances in the study of consciousness

    In a second investigation published in the same journal, a team of investigators from the Human Brain Project and the CANON project analysed the state of consciousness from a neuroscience perspective.

    Although historically this concept has been studied from a philosophical standpoint, experts have reviewed various scientific studies which reflect the importance of a proper communication between cortical areas in the process.

    “Neuroscientific research on consciousness driven by new methods and theoretical advances should be increasingly robust and accepted, since notable scientific and clinical progress is now starting to be made,” the authors pointed out.


  9. Study suggests teens get more sleep when school starts later

    by Ashley

    From the Penn State press release:

    A later school start time could mean teens are more likely to get adequate amounts of sleep, according to Penn State researchers.

    In a national study of urban teenagers, researchers found that high school start times after 8:30 a.m. increased the likelihood that teens obtained the minimum recommended amount of sleep, benefiting their overall health and well being.

    “Teens starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later were the only group with an average time in bed permitting eight hours of sleep, the minimum recommended by expert consensus,” said lead author Orfeu Buxton, associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. “Later school start times were associated with later wake times in our large, diverse sample.”

    Buxton and colleagues report their findings Dec. 1 in Sleep Health, the Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, which devoted an entire special issue to the topic.

    Teens with the earliest high school start times — 7:00-7:29 a.m. — obtained 46 minutes less time in bed on average compared with teens with high school start times at 8:30 a.m. or later.

    School start times after 8:30 a.m. were associated with increased time in bed, extending morning sleep by 27-57 minutes compared to those teens with earlier school start times.

    A common argument against later school start times is an assumption that teens will just stay up later.

    “The presumption is if you let kids start school later they will simply go to sleep later and still not get enough sleep,” Buxton said. “But that’s a hypothetical scenario. There wasn’t data to back that up.”

    While researchers did find that teens with the earliest school start times were going to bed earlier than those with 8:30 a.m. or later, the teens with earlier start times still did not get the recommended amount of sleep. Only those teens with schools that had a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later actually got the recommended amount of sleep, Buxton said.

    One theory is that, despite going to bed earlier than their peers, teens with the earliest school start times didn’t get enough sleep possibly due to anticipation of an early wake time the following morning, according to Buxton.

    In addition, the investigators considered other research that looked at teens’ “sleep debt,” where teens make up for lost sleep on non-school days, leading them to wake up consistently and significantly later than those on school days.

    Both anticipation and sleep debt can misalign teens’ circadian clocks from expected early wake timing on school days, interfering with having consistent sleep.

    Four hundred and thirteen teenagers completed an online daily diary each evening, beginning after 7 p.m., during seven consecutive days, including school days and non-school days during both the academic year and the summer, which was defined as September through May and June through August, respectively.

    From each diary entry, researchers looked at the participants’ reports of the previous night’s bedtime, the time the teen woke up in the morning, whether or not the teen went to school, and the school start times.

    Data collection included daily diary data from a subsample of the parent study, the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which follows a longitudinal birth cohort of children born between 1998 and 2000 in 20 United States cities.


  10. Screen time before bed linked with less sleep, higher BMIs in kids

    December 6, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Penn State press release:

    It may be tempting to let your kids stay up late playing games on their smartphones, but using digital devices before bed may contribute to sleep and nutrition problems in children, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

    After surveying parents about their kids’ technology and sleep habits, researchers found that using technology before bed was associated with less sleep, poorer sleep quality, more fatigue in the morning and — in the children that watched TV or used their cell phones before bed — higher body mass indexes (BMI).

    Caitlyn Fuller, medical student, said the results — published in the journal Global Pediatric Health — may suggest a vicious cycle of technology use, poor sleep and rising BMIs.

    “We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,” Fuller said. “We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming.”

    Previous research has found associations between more technology use and less sleep, more inattention, and higher BMIs in adolescents. But even though research shows that 40 percent of children have cell phones by fifth grade, the researchers said not as much was known about the effects of technology on a younger population.

    Fuller said that because sleep is so critical to a child’s development, she was interested in learning more about the connection between screen time right before bed and how well those children slept, as well as how it affected other aspects of their health.

    The researchers asked the parents of 234 children between the ages of 8 and 17 years about their kids’ sleep and technology habits. The parents provided information about their children’s’ technology habits, sleep patterns, nutrition and activity. The researchers also asked the parents to further specify whether their children were using cell phones, computers, video games or television during their technology time.

    After analyzing the data, the researchers found several adverse effects associated with using different technologies right before bed.

    “We found an association between higher BMIs and an increase in technology use, and also that children who reported more technology use at bedtime were associated with less sleep at night,” Fuller said. “These children were also more likely to be tired in the morning, which is also a risk factor for higher BMIs.”

    Children who reported watching TV or playing video games before bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who did not, while kids who used their phone or a computer before bed averaged an hour less of sleep than those who did not.

    There was also an association between using all four types of technology before bed and increased cell phone use at night, such as waking up to text someone, with watching TV resulting in the highest odds.

    Fuller said the results support new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about screen time for children. The AAP recommends that parents create boundaries around technology use, such as requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

    Dr. Marsha Novick, associate professor of pediatrics and family and community medicine, said that while more research is needed to determine whether multiple devices at bedtime results in worse sleep than just one device, the study can help pediatricians talk to parents about the use of technology.

    “Although there are many benefits to using technology, pediatricians may want to counsel parents about limiting technology for their kids, particularly at bedtime, to promote healthy childhood development and mental health,” Novick said.