Photo by Annie Spratt (Unsplash)
“Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity” – Dr William Dement
Our research laboratory is focused on two cornerstones of health and well-being – sleep and emotions. Sleep disturbances are prevalent in 10-20% of youth and may be highly detrimental. While the field of pediatric sleep research has vastly advanced over the past few decades, many questions remain unanswered regarding the development and treatment of childhood sleep problems such as insomnia. The need to understand these problems is reflected in the massive volume of information about children’s sleep, available in self-help books, websites, and social media, much of which is not based on scientific evidence.
The Kahn Sleep Lab is committed to advancing the scientific understanding of sleep development, clinical sleep disorders, and the interplay between sleep and emotions. We focus on the intricacies of sleep from infancy to childhood and adolescence, investigating the links between sleep and various factors such as nighttime fears, nightmares, parental tolerance for crying, evening technology use, physical activity, and the emergence of psychopathology. One of our main research interests is evidence-based interventions for pediatric insomnia, and we aim to enhance the precision, accessibility, and efficacy of insomnia treatment. To conduct our research, we employ a multi-method assessment approach, including actigraphy, auto-videosomnography, and polysomnography, as well as observational and parent- and child-reported measures. Disseminating our findings to clinicians, researchers, and parents is a top priority for our lab. We hope these findings will help provide children and families with the gift of sufficient good-quality sleep.