Sleep for Science

START DATE May 26, 2014!

    Download application form by clicking above!

Program of Research
Research projects in the lab focus on examining sleep patterns, circadian rhythms, and related processes in adolescents and young adults. Sleep patterns in humans depend upon the complex interplay of distinct extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Research in our laboratory reflects a longstanding interest in the fundamental organization of sleeping and waking patterns in humans. Our group currently has a broad program of research that focuses on the development and regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms in children, adolescents, and young adults. The program’s major projects enable us to examine these issues with experimental paradigms involving manipulating sleep and with studies that evaluate sleep/wake and circadian processes at fundamental mechanistic levels.

This summer's study brings adolescents into the laboratory for an extended period to undertake careful assessments of sleep and circadian rhythm control mechanisms specifically as related to food choices and food intake. Furthermore, measures of smell and taste, as well as performance testing and multiple sleep latency testing are part of the summer project. Using the forced desynchrony paradigm, we measure phase, period, and amplitude of circadian rhythms as well as the strength of the sleep/wake homeostatic process. All these parameters are assessed in relation to developmental stage. Research participants are recruited to “Sleep for Science,” and the participants become collaborators in the research endeavor.

back to top

Sleep and Chronobiology Research Lab
The E.P. Bradley Hospital Sleep and Chronobiology Research Lab was established in 1985 and remains part of Bradley Hospital, a Lifespan Partner affiliated with Brown University. The laboratory building, located at 300 Duncan Drive on the campus of Butler Hospital on Providence’s East Side, is a free-standing facility containing a 4-bedroom laboratory, offices, testing areas, storage space, and kitchen facilities and an annex with an assay lab, graduate student offices, a classroom, and additional research space. The laboratory director is Mary A. Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Other academic leaders in the laboratory are Katherine Sharkey, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor; Eliza Van Reen, Ph.D., lecturer. Other affiliated faculty and fellows include John McGeary, Ph.D., Valerie Knopik, Ph.D., Rachel Herz, Ph.D., Ron Seifer, Ph.D., and Dave Barker, Ph.D., of Brown University and/or Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Kathleen Perri, M.A., of Valencia College; Leila Tarokh, Ph.D., Bern University; Chantelle Hart, Ph.D., Temple University. Core members of the research team at the lab include data coordinator Caroline Gredvig-Ardito; research assistants Dave Bushnell, Ashten Bartz, and Sharon Driscoll; research technologist Ellyn Ferriter; administrative secretary Marian Elliott; programmer Michelle Loxley.

Recent and Relevant References

Hagenauer, M.H., Perryman, J.I., Lee, T.M., Carskadon, M.A. Adolescent changes in the homeostatic and circadian regulation of sleep. Dev. Neurosci. 31:276-284, 2009.

Crowley, S.C. and Carskadon, M.A. Modifications to weekend recovery sleep delay circadian phase in older adolescents. Chronobio. Int. 27(7):1469-1492, 2010.

Tarokh, L., Carskadon, M.A., and Achermann, P. Developmental changes in brain connectivity assessed using the sleep EEG. Neuroscience 171(2):622-634, 2010.

Sharkey, K.M., Carskadon, M.A., Figueiro, M.G., Zhu, Y., and Rea, M.S. Effects of an advanced sleep schedule and morning short wavelength light exposure on circadian phase in young adults with delayed sleep schedule misalignment. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 12(7):685-692, 2011.

Short, M.A., Gradisar, M., Wright, H., Lack, L.C., Dohnt, H., and Carskadon, M.A. Time for bed: Parent-set bedtimes associated with improved sleep and daytime functioning of adolescents. Sleep 13(4):378-384, 2012.

Carskadon, M.A., Sharkey, K.M., Knopik, V.S., and McGeary, J.E. Short sleep as an environmental exposure: A preliminary study associating 5-HTTLPR genotype to self-reported sleep duration and depressed mood in first-year university students. Sleep 35(6):791-796, 2012.

Tarokh, L., Carskadon, M.A., and Achermann, P. Dissipation of sleep pressure is stable across adolescence. Neuroscience 216:167-177, 2012.

Short, M.A., Gradisar, M., Lack, L.C., Wright, H.R., Dewald, J., Wolfson, A., and Carskadon, M.A. A cross-cultural comparison of sleep duration between U.S. and Australian adolescents: The effect of school start time, parent-set bedtimes, and extra-curricular load. Health Educ. Behav. (2012). [Epub ahead of print]

Van Reen, E., Rupp, T.L., Acebo, C., Seifer R., and Carskadon, M.A. Biphasic effects of alcohol as a function of circadian phase. Sleep 36(1):137-145, 2013.

Roane, B.M., Seifer, R., Sharkey, K.M., Van Reen, E., Bond, T., Raffray, T., and Carskadon, M.A. Reliability of a scale assessing depressed mood in the context of sleep. Test., Psychometrics, Method. in Appl. Psychol. 20(1):3-11, 2013.

Zhu, Y., Fu, A., Hoffman, A.E., Figueiro, M.G., Carskadon, M.A., Sharkey, K.M., and Rea, M.S. Advanced sleep schedules affect circadian gene expression in young adults with delayed sleep schedules. Sleep Med. 14(5):449-55, 2013.

Orzech, K.M., Acebo, C., Seifer, R., Barker, D., and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep patterns are associated with common illness in adolescents. J. Sleep Res. 2013. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12096. PMID: 24134661

Hart, C., Carskadon, M., Considine, R., Fava, J., Lawton, J., Raynor, H., Jelalian, E., Owens, J., and Wing, R. Effect of changes in children’s sleep duration on changes in food intake, weight, and leptin. Pediatrics 132(6):e1437-e1480, 2013. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1274. PMID: 24190680

LeBourgeois, M.K., Carskadon, M.A., Akacem, L.D., Simpkin, C.T., Wright, K.P., Achermann, P., and Jenni, O.G. Circadian phase and its relationship to nighttime sleep in toddlers. J Biol Rhythms 28(5):322-331, 2013. doi: 10.1177/0748730413506543. PMID: 24132058

Van Reen, E., Sharkey, K.M., Roane, B., Barker, D., Seifer, R., Raffray, T., Bond, T., and Carskadon, M.A. Sex of college students moderates associations among bedtime, time in bed, and circadian phase angle. J Biol Rhythms 28(6):425-431, 2013

back to top

Commitment [May 26-August 21, 2014]
  • Summer 2014 Training: FULL time May 26 through June 21, 2014.
  • APSS Meeting: Students are expected to join the Sleep Research Society (cost =$45), and we attend scientific meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS), this year in Minneapolis, MN, as part of the training experience. Travel, registration, and accommodations for the meeting are provided through the apprenticeship program.
  • Research Projects: June 22 through August 17, FULL-time involvement on in-lab research project. Apprentices are expected to devote the summer entirely to this academic research experience and not have other jobs or take other course work.
  • Academic Exercise: Each student completes an in-class presentation based upon library research, presented to the group at the end-of-summer colloquium to be held at a retreat from 08/18-21/14. The commitment extends through this retreat. Scientists early in a research career in the areas of sleep or circadian rhythms research give presentations describing their career paths and their scientific research as part of the retreat. [Accommodations at the retreat are provided through the apprenticeship.]

    back to top

Complete the application form (link at the top of this page) and submit it by 26 February 2014. Have 2 letters of recommendation (from professors) sent or emailed directly to Dr. Carskadon by the same deadline. Candidates are subsequently interviewed by telephone or in person (if from a local university or college). The application form can be downloaded by clicking on "application form" at the top of this page.

Students who are admitted to the apprenticeship through this process are also eligible to enroll in CLPS1194 through the Brown University Office of Continuing Education. Tuition and fees are NOT covered by the Sleep Lab. You will not receive a Brown transcript credit for the experience unless you opt to enroll in this course and pay the university fees.

back to top

Undergraduate students with strong interest in behavioral sciences research and who demonstrate enthusiasm for, commitment to, and availability for the full program are encouraged to apply. Previous courses or lab work in sleep or circadian rhythms are helpful but not required. Students from local institutions, especially Brown University, are encouraged to maintain participation in sleep lab activities beyond the summer by working on sleep studies during the school year. Apprentices must reside in or near Providence for the summer. [Graduate students may be accepted under special circumstances. Students may apply for a repeat summer experience as a Senior Research Apprentice (usually no more than 3), with a slightly higher stipend.] Successful applicants are required to apply for student membership in the Sleep Research Society.

back to top

What Research Apprentices Learn: Formal Training Program
  • Introduction to normal human sleep and circadian rhythms; role of sleep and circadian rhythms in human behavior and mental health
  • Central nervous system and neurophysiological basis of electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Polysomnographic recording techniques, including EEG, EMG, EOG, EKG, nasal pressure, pulse oximetry, and respiratory plethysmography electrode hookup
  • Operation of monitoring equipment
  • Performance testing procedures, identification of sleep stages
  • Basic lab procedures, including working with human study participants and how to work well with youthful participants
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Experimental hypotheses, rationale, and methods for laboratory’s summer research projects
  • Preparation for attending a scientific meeting and skills for getting the most out of the meeting
  • Presentation skills, including effective creation and delivery of PowerPoint slide presentation and facets of effective scientific presentations

back to top

What Research Apprentices Do
The major research project during the summer assesses the circadian rhythms and sleep homeostatic process in children and adolescents. This project includes lengthy in-lab sessions that involve assessments on non-24-hour days, thus necessitating staff involvement at times that circle the clock.

Research Apprentices carry out multiple facets of data collection (electrode application, one–to-one work with research participants, forms and tests administration), data reduction, and data entry. During the research phases of the program, apprentices are assigned to teams and work 5 or 6 days each week—not always Monday through Friday, often Saturday and Sunday—in research protocols that involve working unusual schedules. Although we attempt to assign teams to hours that correspond to team members’ circadian phase preferences, applicants must be able and willing to work on any of the following types of schedules for all or part of the program: “Owl” shifts may begin as early as 2 pm or as late as 9:45 pm and end as early as 10:30 pm or as late as 5:45 am; “lark” shifts may begin as early as 3:00 am or as late as noon and may end as early as 8:45 am or as late as 5:15 pm; “neither” shifts may begin as early as 6:45 am or as late as 3:45 pm and end as early as 11:00 am or as late as 10:15 pm. [Sleep planning assistance is provided to help your adaptation to work schedules; sample schedules are available on request.]

back to top

Stipend and Other Benefits
  • $3600* for the summer, housing is not included. (Assistance in locating housing is provided.)
  • Paid registration for the annual scientific meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
  • Paid travel to and lodgings at the APSS meeting (Minneapolis, MN).
  • Paid meals and lodgings at the Research Apprenticeship Summer Retreat (August 18-20).
*Stipends are subject to taxes and fees; they are not tax deductible; SSI fees are charged.

back to top

The 2014 summer research project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Academic activities of the summer apprenticeship program and apprentices' stipends are sponsored by a gift from the Periodic Breathing Foundation and Brown University alumnus, Robert Daly.

back to top