Weight clinical trials at UCSD
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Sleep is a clearly necessary neurobiologic process that influences innumerable aspects of basic daily functions, physical health, and mental well-being. Recent literature shows that college students across the country are experiencing high rates of sleep deprivation. Interestingly, some recent studies have implicated this sleep loss in contributing to weight gain that occurs in the first year of college, also known as the "freshman fifteen." Rates of depression and other mental health issues, which are closely connected to sleep disturbances, are also on the rise in college campuses. The majority of the sleep data obtained in this population has been via questionnaires and self report, and the studies usually include college students at all seniority levels (e.g., freshmen, sophomores, seniors). Here, the investigators outline a novel study investigating how sleep time changes in college freshman, and how it relates to multiple different aspects of their health and functioning over the course of one quarter. As technology has advanced, the ability to easily obtain objective measurements of different health parameters has increased dramatically. The investigators plan to use wireless actigraphy devices to measure sleep over a baseline seven day period in college-bound UCSD students prior to matriculation, and for 2 additional seven day periods during the first quarter of college. To the knowledge of the investigators, this is the first study to directly measure sleep time in college freshman in their normal environment. Effects of sleep time loss will be evaluated through multiple different metrics of physical and mental health. Given the recent link between sleep disturbances and weight gain in college freshman, the investigators will plan to measure weight changes prior to entering college and at two different time points through the first quarter. The investigators will use the PSQ-9 and GAD7 batteries as measures of mental health, obtained at the same time points as the sleep and weight information. As one of the primary consequences of sleep deprivation is on neurocognition in the daytime, the investigators plan to measure vigilant attention using psychomotor vigilance testing (PVT) as well. Screen time use has recently been targeted as a possible contributor to sleep loss in adolescents as well as adults and is something the investigators will attempt to measure as well using a smartphone application. Finally, this project will test the efficacy of a one hour sleep education intervention on improving total sleep time. To the knowledge of the investigators, no other studies have closely examined how total sleep time changes during the first year of college in freshman in relationship to weight and mental health parameters, nor has PVT been done in this context. Additionally, with the increasing concerns regarding screen time use in adolescents and young adults, this study provides prime opportunity to examine this issue in the context of sleep.
San Diego, California
Last updated: January 3, 2018