Dr. LeBourgeois’ research focuses on the intimate intertwining between sleeping and waking physiology, brain activity, and behavior during early childhood. One line of research examines changes in sleep and circadian physiology across early childhood using sleep EEG recordings and dim light salivary melatonin assessments. Another line of research involves the behavioral and physiological effects of sleep restriction on young children’s emotion processing. Other collaborative lines of work involve large-scale investigations of the social/demographic predictors of bedtime routines and sleep, as well as relations between sleep and health/developmental outcomes (e.g., asthma, obesity, emotion regulation, verbal ability) in at-risk children. The collective goal of this research is to develop an integrative longitudinal understanding of such brain-behavior processes, which may uncover important points of entry for prevention and treatment of mental illness and physical disease.
early childhood development, sleep physiology, circadian rhythms, stress, emotion regulation, brain development