skip to main content


Title: Habitual sleep is associated with both source memory and hippocampal subfield volume during early childhood
Abstract

Previous research has established important developmental changes in sleep and memory during early childhood. These changes have been linked separately to brain development, yet few studies have explored their interrelations during this developmental period. The goal of this report was to explore these associations in 200 (100 female) typically developing 4- to 8-year-old children. We examined whether habitual sleep patterns (24-h sleep duration, nap status) were related to children’s performance on a source memory task and hippocampal subfield volumes. Results revealed that, across all participants, after controlling for age, habitual sleep duration was positively related to source memory performance. In addition, in younger (4–6 years, n = 67), but not older (6–8 years, n = 70) children, habitual sleep duration was related to hippocampal head subfield volume (CA2-4/DG). Moreover, within younger children, volume of hippocampal subfields varied as a function of nap status; children who were still napping (n = 28) had larger CA1 volumes in the body compared to children who had transitioned out of napping (n = 39). Together, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that habitually napping children may have more immature cognitive networks, as indexed by hippocampal integrity. Furthermore, these results shed additional light on why sleep is important during early childhood, a period of substantial brain development.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1749280
NSF-PAR ID:
10192917
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Volume:
10
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2045-2322
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In early childhood, consolidation of sleep from a biphasic to a monophasic sleep-wake pattern, that is, the transition from sleeping during an afternoon nap and at night to sleeping only during the night, represents a major developmental milestone. Reduced napping behavior is associated with an advance in the timing of the circadian system; however, it is unknown if this advance represents a standard response of the circadian clock to altered patterns of light exposure or if it additionally reflects features of the developing circadian system. Using a mathematical model of the human circadian pacemaker, we investigated the impact of napping and non-napping patterns of light exposure on entrained circadian phases. Simulated light schedules were based on published data from 20 children (34.2 ± 2.0 months) with habitual napping or non-napping sleep patterns (15 nappers). We found the model predicted different circadian phases for napping and non-napping light patterns: both the decrease in afternoon light during the nap and the increase in evening light associated with napping toddlers’ later bedtimes contributed to the observed circadian phase difference produced between napping and non-napping light schedules. We systematically quantified the effects on phase shifting of nap duration, timing, and light intensity, finding larger phase delays occurred for longer and earlier naps. In addition, we simulated phase response curves to a 1-h light pulse and 1-h dark pulse to predict phase and intensity dependence of these changes in light exposure. We found the light pulse produced larger shifts compared with the dark pulse, and we analyzed the model dynamics to identify the features contributing to this asymmetry. These findings suggest that napping status affects circadian timing due to altered patterns of light exposure, with the dynamics of the circadian clock and light processing mediating the effects of the dark pulse associated with a daytime nap.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract INTRODUCTION

    Sleep duration has been associated with dementia and stroke. Few studies have evaluated sleep pattern–related outcomes of brain disease in diverse Hispanics/Latinos.

    METHODS

    The SOL‐INCA (Study of Latinos‐Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study recruited diverse Hispanics/Latinos (35–85 years) who underwent neuroimaging. The main exposure was self‐reported sleep duration. Our main outcomes were total and regional brain volumes.

    RESULTS

    The final analytic sample includedn = 2334 participants. Increased sleep was associated with smaller brain volume (βtotal_brain = −0.05,p < 0.01) and consistently so in the 50+ subpopulation even after adjusting for mild cognitive impairment status. Sleeping >9 hours was associated with smaller gray (βcombined_gray = −0.17,p < 0.05) and occipital matter volumes (βoccipital_gray = −0.18,p < 0.05).

    DISCUSSION

    We found that longer sleep duration was associated with lower total brain and gray matter volume among diverse Hispanics/Latinos across sex and background. These results reinforce the importance of sleep on brain aging in this understudied population.

    Highlights

    Longer sleep was linked to smaller total brain and gray matter volumes.

    Longer sleep duration was linked to larger white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) and smaller hippocampal volume in an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) risk group.

    These associations were consistent across sex and Hispanic/Latino heritage groups.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Napping benefits long-term memory formation and is a tool many individuals use to improve daytime functioning. Despite its potential advantages, approximately 47% of people in the United States eschew napping. The goal of this study was to determine whether people who endorse napping at least once a week (nap+) show differences in nap outcomes, including nap-dependent memory consolidation, compared with people who rarely or never nap (nap−). Additionally, we tested whether four weeks of nap practice or restriction would change sleep and performance profiles. Using a perceptual learning task, we found that napping enhanced performance to a greater degree in nap+ compared with nap− individuals (at baseline). Additionally, performance change was associated with different electrophysiological sleep features in each group. In the nap+ group, spindle density was positively correlated with performance improvement, an effect specific to spindles in the hemisphere contralateral to the trained visual field. In the nap− group, slow oscillatory power (0.5–1 Hz) was correlated with performance. Surprisingly, no changes to performance or brain activity during sleep emerged after four weeks of nap practice or restriction. These results suggest that individual differences may impact the potential benefits of napping on performance and the ability to become a better napper.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The hippocampus is a complex brain structure composed of subfields that each have distinct cellular organizations. While the volume of hippocampal subfields displays age-related changes that have been associated with inference and memory functions, the degree to which the cellular organization within each subfield is related to these functions throughout development is not well understood. We employed an explicit model testing approach to characterize the development of tissue microstructure and its relationship to performance on 2 inference tasks, one that required memory (memory-based inference) and one that required only perceptually available information (perception-based inference). We found that each subfield had a unique relationship with age in terms of its cellular organization. While the subiculum (SUB) displayed a linear relationship with age, the dentate gyrus (DG), cornu ammonis field 1 (CA1), and cornu ammonis subfields 2 and 3 (combined; CA2/3) displayed nonlinear trajectories that interacted with sex in CA2/3. We found that the DG was related to memory-based inference performance and that the SUB was related to perception-based inference; neither relationship interacted with age. Results are consistent with the idea that cellular organization within hippocampal subfields might undergo distinct developmental trajectories that support inference and memory performance throughout development.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Sleep is critical for cognitive health, especially during complex developmental periods such as adolescence. However, its effects on maturating brain networks that support cognitive function are only partially understood. We investigated the impact of shorter duration and reduced quality sleep, common stressors during development, on functional network properties in early adolescence—a period of significant neural maturation, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging from 5566 children (median age = 120.0 months; 52.1% females) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development cohort. Decreased sleep duration, increased sleep latency, frequent waking up at night, and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms were associated with lower topological efficiency, flexibility, and robustness of visual, sensorimotor, attention, fronto-parietal control, default-mode and/or limbic networks, and with aberrant changes in the thalamus, basal ganglia, hippocampus, and cerebellum (P < 0.05). These widespread effects, many of which were body mass index-independent, suggest that unhealthy sleep in early adolescence may impair neural information processing and integration across incompletely developed networks, potentially leading to deficits in their cognitive correlates, including attention, reward, emotion processing and regulation, memory, and executive control. Shorter sleep duration, frequent snoring, difficulty waking up, and daytime sleepiness had additional detrimental network effects in nonwhite participants, indicating racial disparities in the influence of sleep metrics. 
    more » « less