De la connaissance à l'action : Recherche fondamentale et translationnelle sur le sommeil pédiatrique

 

Reut Gruber

Institut universitaire en santé mentale Douglas

 

Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Senior

Concours 2014-2015

Increasing evidence indicates that sleep has beneficial effects on learning, memory, health, and academic success. Conversely, insufficient sleep negatively affects these life domains, each of which must function well to ensure optimal development. However, a considerable proportion of children and adolescents do not achieve adequate sleep.

Clinical studies strongly suggest that poor sleep is implicated in the development and persistence of prevalent childhood disorders affecting youth mental and physical health. Appropriate use of such knowledge may significantly improve youth performance and health. However, the mechanisms that underlie the associations mentioned above remain unclear and translation of available knowledge for the benefit of Canadian youth is currently lacking. This is important, because it is likely that a key means of using existing information to improve the health and success of children is being overlooked. Thus, the objectives of my research program are to fill these knowledge gaps, by examining the mechanisms underlying the associations between sleep on the one hand, and cognition and health in youth, on the other; and by developing a means whereby such knowledge can be used to improve the health and learning capacity of young persons.

I plan to accomplish my goals by conducting a series of studies aimed at filling knowledge and translational gaps associated with the interplay between physical and mental health and pediatric sleep. The overall contribution of the proposed research program is expected to be a detailed understanding of the mechanisms underlying the connections between sleep and learning-memory or obesity, as well as translation of this knowledge to an effective, evidence-based intervention. The insights provided by my research program will be instrumental in improving the health and success of children and adolescents throughout Canada and the world. Simultaneously, the fields of developmental and clinical child psychology will be fundamentally advanced.