Studying Interactions Between Sleep, Media Use and Physical Activity

kid on sleeping bed

Healthy sleep plays a critical role in child and adolescent development; sleep problems can lead to behavior problems, difficulties in school, obesity and increased injuries. The Garrison Lab’s research focuses on the interactions between sleep, media use and physical activity, and how these affect child and adolescent health, behavior and development.

The lab has shown that evening media use is associated with sleep problems in preschool children, as is interacting with violent media content any time of day. Our current research and upcoming studies include:

  • A randomized trial of an intervention to improve sleep in preschool children and an assessment of the impact on development (SHIP study: Sleep Health in Preschoolers).
  • Studies looking at causality in the short- and long-term relationships between evening media use, sleep, behavior problems and obesity (SHIP and SLUMBER: Sleep, Light, and Media Use at Bedtime in Early Adolescents).
  • Development and pilot assessment of a wireless technology toolkit to monitor sleep, physical activity, and nutrition in children with overweight and obesity, providing real-time feedback to families and healthcare providers (WATTS study: Wireless Assessment Technology Toolkit).
  • Finding new ways to measure and quantify media use, including exposure measurement and standardized assessment of video game characteristics and media use behaviors (SLUMBER study).
  • Exploring sleep problems in children with prenatal alcohol exposure, including the mechanisms involved and response to intervention (SHIFT study: Sleep Health in Families Together).

Read the Garrison Lab’s blog to learn more about our latest work and related issues.

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness, and help other children in the future. Learn more.

Help Us Pursue Solutions to Childhood Sleep Problems

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Our research wouldn’t be possible without the support of research grants and private donors. There are several ways you can contribute:

Thank you for your support!

Investigator Biography

Michelle M. Garrison, PhD

Michelle M. Garrison, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She also has an adjunct appointment in the UW School of Public Health’s Department of Health Services, where she teaches in the Master of Public Health - Community Oriented Public Health Practice program.

Garrison earned a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington after receiving a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she attended the Plan II Honors Program.

Her first research experience came as an intern in the Developmental Psychology Program at Northern Illinois University. During undergraduate and graduate school, she worked at the Texas Department of Health on the Oral Rabies Vaccination Project; as a childcare and respite care provider for children with autism spectrum disorders; and as a math and English teacher.

Garrison joined Seattle Children’s Research Institute in 2008. She is a member of the Sleep Research Society and the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and has taught research methods workshops at both local and national conferences.

Email Michelle Garrison, PhD