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Medicine

Video How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns, Part Two (Video) 29

Yesterday, in the intro to video number one of this two part extravaganza we wrote, "The effects of light and dark on adults' Circadian rythym has been studied over and over, but there hasn't been much research done on how light at night affects young children's sleep patterns."

Then we said, "This is the topic of Lameese Akacem's doctoral dissertation, and is a study being carried out under the aegis of the Sleep and Development Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder," and we mentioned that this research is (at least in part) crowdfunded, and that the deadline for donating to this project is early next week, so if you feel this project is worth supporting you need to act within the next few days.

Timothy Lord for Slashdot: Lameese, I want to ask you about working with kids. Have you worked with kids on this sort of sleep study before?

Lameese: I actually joined the lab in 2011, so I’ve been here for about four and half years now. So I’ve had a lot of experience working with young children running very similar protocols, also different protocols on sleep and doing EEG and things on the lectures in the lab, and so we had a lot of experience with the young children.

Slashdot: Are kids cooperative when it comes to having sensors attached to their body like that?

Lameese: Yeah, they’re surprisingly cooperative and we actually try and make all the aspects of our study very fun for the kids, so whenever we do the chewing we have little puppets that we use to help them, one or two like we will have the puppets chew on corn sticks and try and encourage the kids to do the same, so there are different ways of introducing our study, measures, just to get the kids more comfortable with it before we actually do the data collection.

Slashdot: Now, I have one more question that’s really addressed to both of you: Who should most care about this? There’s been a lot of research into and interest in how light affects our bodies in general, whether it increases cancer rates. One of the things that some people have proposed are problems are things like light pollution, and you can’t avoid most of it, but it sounds like we’re talking about a lot of sources that maybe we can actually control in a household setting?

Monique: I think society at large should really care, I mean this includes parents, healthcare professionals, teachers, grandparents. There is relatively new data showing that the time kids spend with electronic media in early childhood has tripled in the past couple of years, and that young kids are spending about two hours a day using iPads, iPhones, computers, TVs, and what’s also really interesting is that while I don’t have the study itself, there is one article in the New York Times talking about parents using iPads, as a form of spending time with their kids in the evening time; playing games, or reading on the iPad, versus engaging in some other activities.

And most of these conversations have been around the cognitive effects of media, but what’s most interesting for us and we think it’s something that is incredibly important for overall health and development is the actual light that is emitted from these devices, especially in the evening time. So because we know light suppresses melatonin, and that actually makes the kid not ready for bed and more alert when your parents are expecting them to try to fall asleep, and also disrupts sleep during the middle of the night, so kids may not be getting enough sleep or they may not be getting good quality sleep and those kinds of sleep problems are linked to both short term and long term health and developmental problems.

Slashdot: And Lameese, I have realized that we’re talking about a study that you are anticipating doing at this point. But do you have any expectations about what sort of outcome that you’re going to end up seeing? Do you have the idea that this is a pretty significant factor in children’s sleep?

Lameese: I definitely think so, especially from what we know from the research in adults. We know that as adults age, the light can actually effect them to greater extents and that’s just because the lens in the eye becomes less clear with age, so we expect young children to have more clear lenses, so they are probably going to be more sensitive to light, so actually I expect to see this affect children to a great extent.

Slashdot: What is the next step, what happens upcoming in your timeline in preparation for this experiment?

Lameese: So in preparation for this experiment, probably next month, we’re going to start recruiting subjects, so we’ll probably go out in the community and try and spread the word about our study and try to get some subjects. We’re going to hoping to start collect data probably in June.

Monique: As Lameese pointed out, melatonin levels are low during the day and then like, increases in the evening hours. And that increase in melatonin tells the brain to be prepared to fall asleep. Not to fall asleep yet, but just getting ready to fall asleep. And that time of melatonin increase varies widely between individuals. Some individuals’ clocks may, say, be prepared to sleep at 7 o’clock in the evening and others not until midnight. And so, the timing of that melatonin onset is one of the primary measures of our study because if the child is exposed to a lot of light in the evening, we would expect the timing of that onset is going to be pushed back and they are not going to be prepared for sleep until a much later time.

Slashdot: Based on what you just said, it seems like you really have to then make a sort of mini-study per individual to figure out what your baseline is.

Monique: Exactly. And so, all the research that we do in my lab is called within subjects, so every individual is his or her own baseline and in Lameese’s study, we will collect data on melatonin onset on alertness and sleep on a baseline day, and then on our baseline night evening, and then on an evening, when they have actually been exposed to this light stimulus.

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How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns, Part Two (Video)

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  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @04:21PM (#49692743)
    A reposted article deserves a reposted reply.

    Which would you rather read about, Slashdot?

    a) An already-completed crowdfunded study in the hard sciences that resulted in a major discovery [slashdot.org] about a widely-known and supposedly well-understood chemical reaction, published in Nature Chemistry, or

    b) this unfinished study asking all of us for money, complete with glorious slashdot video, pointlessly spread out over two days?

    repost [slashdot.org] that sums it up:
    -----

    I know how it sounds to complain that your one submission (out of the many /. receives) didn't get accepted, but I've tried submitting this recent scientific discovery [slashdot.org] (published in Nature Chemistry [nature.com]) a few times. IMO it's perfect material for Slashdot: an interesting new hypothesis (about a supposedly "well-understood" reaction) put to the test via regularly evolving experiments and apparatuses. And it was even largely funded through Youtube viewers (who the lead scientist thanks in the paper) and documented with (at least one) well-done video [youtube.com].

    But /. never ran it. I can't help but think that part of the problem is that the scientist is Dr. Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t, who is known for his vids that expose Atheism+ and anti-Gamergate types as fools. Think about the lousy submissions that do often make it on the front page, especially those that push an agenda.

    This is why things like Gamergate (and Slashdot's atrocious coverage of it) matter, even if you yourself don't personally care about videogames; it is a fight against neo-puritans who want to filter ALL types of content (not just games, comics, music, movies, etc) you're allowed to see, and refuse to acknowledge the work of those who don't buy into the "narrative."

    P.S. Clearly I'm biased, so if any of you think that my article submission is unworthy for some other reason, let me know (seriously).
    • "I can't help but think that part of the problem is that the scientist is Dr. Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t"

      It's an open secret that post-deletion is rampant on /. now. I wish I could, like some imbecile just told me in another thread, call it a "conspiracy." But I've seen people complain and I had it happen to my own posts.

      If a submission has anything to do with anything or anyone that portrays certain Favored Topics in a negative light, you bet your ass it's never going to get the green light.

    • by Roblimo ( 357 )

      Where in this article you love so dearly is a mention of crowdfunding? In the part that's behind a high-cost paywall? If so, tough luck. Slashdot has rarely -- really never -- linked to paywall-restricted articles.

      ++ And FYI, I personally love to interview people like Dr. Mason. I think I'll send him a message through YouTube now, since that seems to be where he's most active online. Thanks for the tip, which you can stop repeating now. I read it the first time, believe it or not.

      • Where in this article you love so dearly is a mention of crowdfunding? In the part that's behind a high-cost paywall? If so, tough luck.

        He mentions it in the video, and shows in the paper where he thanks his Youtube contributors.

        Slashdot has rarely -- really never -- linked to paywall-restricted articles.

        Thank you, that (linking the original paper but no news articles) was a problem with my submission that I didn't consider. That said, the BBC and other coverage is easy to find.

        ++ And FYI, I personally love to interview people like Dr. Mason. I think I'll send him a message through YouTube now, since that seems to be where he's most active online. Thanks for the tip, which you can stop repeating now. I read it the first time, believe it or not.

        OK, I promise not to post it again (not even if there's a Part 3 tomorrow).

        • by Roblimo ( 357 )

          Sorry. We're skipping part three and going directly to four. :)

          Believe it or not, we're getting a whole new audience on http://slashdot.org/videos [slashdot.org]. Our corporate masters finally stopped with the autoplay stuff and let us have an HTML5 alternative. And beta.... gone gone gone. Things are looking up.

          And yes, we're always looking for interesting people to interview, and mindful that "interesting" to one person is often "boring" to somebody else. You can't please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.

  • by thedarb ( 181754 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @04:40PM (#49692937) Homepage

    Was able to adblock the video thumb on the front page. Yay! Please don't clutter the front page with video crap.

  • I actually tried to watch the video, but the progress indicator just spun and spun. Looks like the site's been Slashdotted.

  • Yesterday's slashdot story linked to Assistant Professor Monique K. LeBourgeois' Resume [colorado.edu], which says it took her eight years (1987-1995) to earn a B.S. in Psychology.

    I wonder why it took her so long?

    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      I wonder why it took her so long?

      I wonder how this is relevant when it concerns a baseline credential earned 20 years ago and you seemingly have no issue with the MS, MA, and PhD earned from 1996-03, much less her positions at Brown and UC Boulder.

      In other words, it's none of your damn business.

      • I wonder how this is relevant when it concerns a baseline credential earned 20 years ago and you seemingly have no issue with the MS, MA, and PhD earned from 1996-03, much less her positions at Brown and UC Boulder.

        You don't find it strange that a person who needed eight years to earn a B.S. in Psychology was also able to earn three advanced degrees (MS, MA and PhD) in Psychology in just seven years?

        In other words, it's none of your damn business.

        I disagree. When someone asks for crowdfunding, the crowd has every right to ask questions about the person(s) seeking the crowds' funds!

        • No, I do not. People have families. People work jobs to pay for undergrad tuition. People transfer between schools. As for your "I have a right to know everything if they ask me for crowdfunding" approach - no. You have the right not to offer funds. The rest of us have the right to deem your request unreasonable given that, again, this was a baseline credential earned 20 years ago. Disclose your professional history for the past 28 years and I'll reconsider.
  • Why is Slashdot posting this run-of-the-mill type of research that cannot get normal funding on its front page, two days in a row? Cui bono? To whose benefit?

    • by Roblimo ( 357 )

      Because this research is interesting for humans who reproduce and attempt to teach their offspring to act like adult human beings in 18 years or so. You may not have a reproduction partner at this point, but odds favor you finding one sooner or later. Every single one of your ancestors reproduced. Why should you be different?

      To whose benefit? Slashdot readers who have or might one day have children, nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren, etc. I'm sure that Timothy doting on his toddler-age niece had nothing t

      • by tgv ( 254536 )

        Come on. This kind of front page publicity is very, very rare. Two days, no less. And this research has been done before. And in general, one or two experiments are not going to reveal the ultimate truth, so why the sudden interest in this?

        > Because this research is interesting for humans who reproduce and attempt to teach their offspring to act like adult human beings in 18 years or so.

        So because the staff is interested in it personally? Then just write so upfront. "I'm personally interested in this."

        • by Roblimo ( 357 )

          So your suggestion for our next video interview is.....................? Please make sure you provide contact information.

          And realize: 10,000 or 20,000 Slashdot readers might be interested in something that doesn't interest you. And you and a *different* 10,000 or 20,000 may be interested in something else that the first 10,000 have no interest in whatsoever.

          And 'the staff being interested in it personally' means what? Slashdot only has three full-time people, plus me working part-time editing videos and se

  • Please let me know. Do you have to sleep with or bribe someone?

    • Why not find a topic or interview subject that might be interesting to at least a substantial minority of Slashdot users? I'm married and Timothy has a g/f, so sleeping with us is a no-go. Bribes? Might as well just buy ads. Your content will then be marked "advertising" or "paid content" and will differ markedly in appearance from editorial copy on Slashdot. FYI, that's how you tell something on Slashdot is a paid ad. :)

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