Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Sleep? Interview with:
Coffee being poured Coffee pot pouring cup of coffee. copyright American Heart AssociationJulia F. van den Berg, PhD

Leiden University, Department of Clinical Psychology
Leiden, The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Caffeine is the most used psychoactive substance worldwide, mostly consumed via coffee, energy drinks, tea and chocolate. Experimental studies have shown that caffeine can negatively affect sleep quality. The timing of caffeine consumption may play a role; the closer to bedtime, the more caffeine consumption is  likely to have a negative effect on sleep. We also wondered if chronotype, being a morning or evening person, would make a difference in the effect of caffeine on sleep.

We sent out questionnaires on sleep quality, chronotype, and a detailed questionnaire on type and timing of caffeine use to 880 secondary education students (mean age 21.3 years). We found that for the entire group, the amount of caffeine per week was not associated with sleep quality, regardless of chronotype. However, when we divided the group into subgroups of students who did, and students who did not usually consume caffeine in the evening (after 6PM), we found something interesting. Only for students who did not consume caffeine in the evening (20% of the total sample), a higher total caffeine consumption per week was associated with poorer sleep, in spite of the fact that these students consumed a lot less  caffeine per week than the group who did consume caffeine in the evening.

This suggests a self-regulatory mechanism: students who know they are sensitive to caffeine do not drink it in the evening, nevertheless, the caffeinated beverages they drink during the day do affect their sleep.

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Majority of Middle and High School Students Do Not Get Enough Sleep on School Nights Interview with:
“He isn't sleeping, he is mad. When we don't get our way pouting always works (okay.. It's worth a try at least!) #kids #dad #father #family #funny #like #parenting #photooftheday #instaphoto #instacute” by dadblunders is licensed under CC BY 2.0Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Population Health
Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Atlanta, GA  30341-3717 What is the background for this study?

Response: Insufficient sleep among children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems.

In previous reports, CDC had found that, nationwide, approximately two thirds of U.S. high school students report sleeping <8 hours per night on school nights. CDC conducted this study to provide state-level estimates of short sleep duration on school nights among middle school and high school students using age-specific recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). AASM has recommended that children aged 6–12 years should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours and teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours for optimal health.

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Only An Hour Of Daily Social Media Linked To Decreased Sleep in Adolescents Interview with:
“social media” by Jessie James is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
Research Scientist, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ontario, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: No studies to date have examined the association between social media use (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and sleep duration in a representative sample of middle and high school students, who are a vulnerable age group that has reported high levels of social media use and insufficient sleep.

Our findings suggest an important association between the use of social media and short sleep duration among student aged 11-20 years. Using social media for at least one hour per day was associated with short sleep duration in a dose-response manner.    Continue reading

Bright Light Exposure Improved Sleep In Cancer Patients Interview with:

Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Medical Social Sciences Chicago, Illinois 60611

Dr. Lisa Wu

Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medical Social Sciences
Chicago, Illinois 60611 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep disturbances are reported by cancer patients at a significantly higher rate than in the general population. Among post‐treatment cancer survivors, 23% to 44% experience insomnia symptoms even years after treatment. Sleep disturbances are most commonly treated with medications which many cancer patients are reluctant to add to the large group of medications already prescribed. Furthermore, systematic light exposure intervention is less burdensome than other non‐pharmacologic interventions for sleep disturbance.

In a pilot study, systematic light exposure intervention (i.e., bright white light from a small light source for 30 minutes each morning for 4 weeks) with a mixed group of fatigued cancer survivors was significantly more effective than comparison dim light exposure in improving sleep efficiency (i.e., clinically large effects). Medium to large effect sizes were also seen in self‐reported sleep quality, total sleep time, and wake time. Results support the conclusion that systematic light exposure intervention has considerable promise for reducing negative side effects among cancer survivors. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Resulting improvement in sleep efficiency was sustained to 3 weeks post‐intervention. Moreover, sleep efficiency in thebright light group improved to clinically normal levels on average (>85%) by the end of the intervention; this improvement was observed even 3 weeks afterward. The comparison dim light group remained at low sleep efficiency levels on average for the entire study. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:Systematic light exposure using bright white light is a low cost and easily disseminable intervention that offers a feasible and potentially effective alternative to improve sleep in cancer survivors, particularly for those who are fatigued. Future large-scale studies are warranted. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Lisa M. Wu, Ph.D. was lead author on the manuscript. William H. Redd, Ph.D. at the Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai was the principal investigator of the study itself. This study was conducted at Mount Sinai.
Lisa Wu’s Primary Job Title: Assistant Professor

Lisa Wu’s Primary Affiliation: Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University

Lisa Wu’s Secondary Affiliation: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at
Mount Sinai (where the study was conducted).
William Redd’s Affiliation: Professor, Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at
Mount Sinai.


Lisa M. Wu, Ali Amidi, Heiddis Valdimarsdottir, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Lianqi Liu, Gary Winkel, Emily E. Byrne, Ana Vallejo Sefair, Alejandro Vega, Katrin Bovbjerg, William H. Redd. The Effect of Systematic Light Exposure on Sleep in a Mixed Group of Fatigued Cancer Survivors. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2018; 14 (01): 31 DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.6874 is not a forum for the exchange of personal medical information, advice or the promotion of self-destructive behavior (e.g., eating disorders, suicide). While you may freely discuss your troubles, you should not look to the Website for information or advice on such topics. Instead, we recommend that you talk in person with a trusted medical professional.

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Program Improves Sleep For Mothers Hospitalized For Delivery Interview with:
“Now I’m having contractions.” by Remus Pereni is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kathryn A. Lee, RN, CBSM, PhD
Department of Family Health Care Nursing
University of California at San Francisco
San Francisco, California What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep deprivation can adversely affect health and wellbeing in any patient population.

In pregnancy, adverse outcomes may include preterm birth, longer labor, cesarean birth, and depression.

We found that women with high-risk pregnancies were sleep deprived even prior to hospitalization. Our sample averaged 29 weeks gestation, and half reported getting only between 5 and 6.5 hours of sleep at home before hospital admission. Our sleep hygiene intervention strategies gave them more control over the environment in their hospital room, and they self-reported significantly better sleep than controls. Interestingly, both groups increased their sleep time to almost 7 hours at night, on average, in the hospital before they were discharged home.

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Parents Encouraged To Keep Screen Devices Out Of Kids’ Bedrooms At Night Interview with:
“Video Game Addicts” by Michael Bentley is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Marsha Novick, MD

Associate professor of pediatrics and family and community medicine,
Penn State College of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The results of this study solidify some well-established data concerning childhood obesity – namely that children who watch more television and have a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have an overweight or obese BMI compared with those who are more active. The survey results highlight some associations between increased technology use and difficulty with sleep quantity in children and adolescents.

The data suggest:

  • ​​Increased technology use at bedtime, namely television, cell phones, video games and computers, is associated with a decrease in the amount of sleep children are getting. These children were more likely to be tired in the morning and less likely to eat breakfast.
  • Specifically, 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.
  • The data also suggests that children with overweight or obesity were more likely to have trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep than their normal BMI counterparts
  • When children were reported by their parents to use one form of technology at bedtime, they were more likely to use another form of technology as well.

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Starting School Before 8:30 AM Associated With More Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents Interview with:
Jack Peltz, Ph.D.

Clinical assistant professor in Psychiatry
Rochester Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Approximately 90% of high-school aged adolescents get either
insufficient sleep during school nights or barely meet the required
amount of sleep (ie, 8–10 hours) expected for healthy functioning.(1)

In fact, sleep problems and insufficient sleep are so pervasive for
adolescents that they could be considered an epidemic due to their
adverse impact on adolescent mental and physical health.(2–5)

As a result,addressing insufficient adolescent sleep represents a critical
point of study and intervention. The growing body of evidence suggests
that later school start times (SST), 8:30 AM or later as recommended
by the American Academy of Pediatricians,6 convey
multiple benefits on adolescents, including improved sleep, better
mental and physical health, and improved academic outcomes.(7–10)

This research, however, has focused on the direct effects of delaying
school start times, or specifically how moving SST back directly predicts changes
in an outcome (eg, mental health, academic achievement). This
type of analysis precludes examining the important role that SST
might play as a condition or context under which other sleeprelated
processes take place. For instance, earlier school start times might exacerbate
the impact of sleep-related processes on adolescent behavioral
health outcomes. Thus, incorporating school start times as a larger contextual variable
that might moderate models of sleep and adolescent functioning
represents a gap in the literature and a unique opportunity to advance
conceptual models. Accordingly, the current study examines
the moderating role of school start times on the associations between sleep hygiene,
sleep quality, and mental health.

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Half of Menopausal Women Report Getting Insufficient Quality Sleep Interview with:
Dr. Anjel Vahratian PhD MPH Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist Branch Chief at the National Center For Health Statistics   Centers for Disease Control and PreventionDr. Anjel Vahratian PhD MPH

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist
Branch Chief at the National Center For Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Why did you conduct this study?

Response: Our research focuses on the health of women as they age and transition from the childbearing period. During this time, women may be at increased risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

As insufficient sleep is a modifiable behavior that is associated with these chronic health conditions, we wanted to examine how sleep duration and quality varies by menopausal status.

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Despite Sleep Benefits To Teens, Only Half of Parents Support Later School Start Times Interview with:

Galit Dunietz, Ph.D., MPH Doctor of Philosophy Department of Neurology University of Michigan  Ann Arbor MI

Dr. Dunietz

Galit Dunietz, Ph.D., MPH
Epidemiologist, Sleep Disorders Center
Department of Neurology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Insufficient sleep has a negative impact on health, cognition and mood and is linked to motor vehicle accidents. However, sleep loss in adolescents has become an epidemic and arises in part from biological processes that delay sleep and wake timing at the onset of puberty. This biology does not fit well with early school start times (before 8:30 a.m.). Despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to delay school start times, most schools in the U.S. have current start times before 8:30 a.m.

In this nationally representative study of US parents of teens, we examined whether parents supported or opposed later school start times (after 8:30 a.m.). We also examined what may have influenced their opinions.

We found that only about half of surveyed parents of teens with early school start times supported later school start times. Opinions appeared to depend in part on what challenges and benefits were expected to result from the change.

For example, parents who expected an improvement in their teen’s academic performance or sleep quantity tended to support the change, whereas parents that expected negative impact on afterschool activities or transportation opposed delays in school start times.  We also found that parents had misconception about sleep needs of their adolescents, as the majority perceived 7-7.5 hours of sleep as sufficient, or possibly sufficient even at this young age when 8-10 hours are typically recommended.

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Mobile Message Delivery Can Help Parents Learn Safe Infant Sleep Practices Interview with:

Rachel Y. Moon, M.D. Division Head, General Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics University of Virginia School of Medicine Charlottesville, VA 22908

Dr. Moon

Rachel Y. Moon, M.D.
Division Head, General Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA 22908 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Approximately 3500 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly during sleep in the US every year. Even though there are safe sleep recommendations, many parents do not follow them because of misinformation or misconceptions.

Therefore we tested 2 complementary interventions to promote infant safe sleep practices. The first was a nursing quality improvement intervention aimed at ensuring that mothers would hear key messages and that there was appropriate role modeling of safe sleep practices by hospital personnel.

The second was a mobile health intervention, in which mothers received videos and text messages or emails with safe sleep information during the baby’s first two months of life. We randomized mothers to receive either the safe sleep interventions or breast-feeding interventions (the control interventions). Mothers who received the mobile health intervention reported statistically significantly higher rates of placing their babies on their back, room sharing without bed sharing, no soft bedding use, and pacifier use, compared with mothers who received a control intervention. Although the nursing quality improvement intervention did not influence infant safe sleep practices, there was an interaction such that mothers who received both the safe sleep nursing quality improvement intervention and the safe sleep mobile health intervention had the highest rates of placing their babies on the back.

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