THE EFFECT OF SLEEP TIMING AND CHRONOTYPE ON CHILDREN’S EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO SLEEP RESTRICTION

Date

2023-05-17

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Abstract

Sleep serves as an essential foundation in physical growth, cognitive development, socio- emotional competence, and psychological health. Inadequate sleep during childhood is routinely linked with a host of negative outcomes. Understanding of how early sleep patterns shape children’s emotional lives is not well understood, but experimental studies using sleep-restriction protocols document deleterious effects on children’s emotional experiences, reactions and regulation when sleep is inadequate. It is also known that sleep loss does not impact individuals’ emotional responses uniformly and group-averaged responses to inadequate sleep, while useful, do not provide insight into differential emotional vulnerability. Despite overwhelming evidence that inadequate sleep poses serious risks to children’s physical and mental health, limited research has explored individual factors that moderate sleep-based risk. This is especially true of pre-pubertal children. Two factors of relevance, an eveningness chronotype and later sleep timing, remain to be examined as potential moderators of children’s emotional functioning following inadequate sleep. The purpose of this study is to examine chronotype and habitual sleep timing as potential individual risk factors in a sample of 7- to 11-year-old pre-pubertal children (N = 53) studied previously. Subsequent aims will examine whether parent-reported chronotype and actigraphy-assessed timing of sleep across a typical week moderated children’s subjective and objective emotional responses after a night of adequate sleep, and after two consecutive nights of restricted sleep.

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Keywords

Chronotype, Circadian Timing

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