Sleep in pregnant and postpartum mothers is often disrupted, but poor sleep is associated with a many medical issues (i.e. depression, anxiety, cardiovascular risk, obesity). If mothers' sleep during pregnancy impacts her children’s sleep/circadian rhythms/affect/behavior, then we could target chronotherapy during pregnancy to prevent sleep-related issues from developing in these children. To investigate, we measure sleep in children >18 months old using one week of actigraphy with wristwatch-like devices that record activity levels, light exposure, and skin temperature. We use an algorithm to estimate the child’s time asleep and light exposure during the first two hours of wake. Using data from previous studies of the mothers’ sleep, we compare bedtimes, wake-times, and sleep quality. We then use blood samples from the children to analyze genome-wide DNA methylation. We hypothesize that sleep will be correlated between mothers and children and that we will detect epigenetic differences between “better” and “worse” sleepers that may be linked to differences in maternal sleep.
"Sleep in the Children of Women with Perinatal Mood Disorders"
Summer Research Symposium.
Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.
Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …