Sleep and Development Laboratory

Administrative Research Center (ARC), Room A48

3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80309-0554
phone: 303-492-4584
fax: 303-735-4125

Research Interests


  • Director: Monique K. LeBourgeois, Ph.D.

  • Lab Manager: Rachel Salaz.

  • Graduate Students: Sachi Wong B.A. and Sophia Schneider.

  • Behavioral Interventionist: Tiffany Allen Ph.D.

  • Undergraduate Students: Alexandra Coy, Sarena Gill, Trace Jablin, Meskerem Nemomsa, Zoe Parisian-Jeppesen, Katherine Petersen, Ambra Saurini, Elise Shalowitz, Taylor Shelafo, Taylor Teske, Anne Waddle.

  • Collaborators: Peter Achermann, Ph.D., University of Zurich; Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; John Harsh, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder; Reto Huber, Ph.D., University Children’s Hospital (Zurich); Oskar Jenni, M.D., University Children’s Hospital (Zurich); Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, Ph.D., Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Alison Miller, Ph.D., University of Michigan; Thomas Rusterholz, Ph.D., University of Zurich; Ronald Seifer, Ph.D., Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Sarah Watamura, Ph.D., The University of Denver.
Left Column (from top): Margaret Doucette, Elsa Mullins, Shelby Kardel, Lauren Peregrine, Maddy Gardner, Katy Thellman, Alex Jones
Middle Column (from top): Hana Setterquist, Lameese Akacem, Karlie Johansen, Shane Nau, Corinna Cluckey, Ian McClain, Jon Lassonde
Right Column (from top): Salome Kurth, Allyson Schumacher, Sachi Wong, Hannah Craven

Current Research Projects

  • Early developmental changes in sleep homeostasis and circadian rhythms.

  • Effects of sleep restriction on young children’s emotion processing and cognition.

  • Sleep and brain development.

  • Asthma, sleep, and academic functioning in urban school children.
  • Persons interested in volunteering to participate in one of these studies should visit our Sleep and Development Laboratory Web site.

Opportunities for Undergraduates

Mary A. Carskadon [MAC] Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Summer 2018 Research Fellowship

Program of Research

Light is the strongest environmental signal to the internal circadian (biological) clock of humans. Although the biological response to light has been investigated in adults, very little is known about how light influences the circadian clock of young children. The primary goal of this summer's study is to understand how light can delay the timing of the circadian clock of preschool-age children.

What Research Apprentices Do

This summer study involves creating dim light conditions within a child's home for 3 days. On the first and third evening of the in-home assessment the child remains in dim light, and on the second evening the child is exposed to light during the hour before their usual bedtime.

Apprentices will carry out multiple facets of data collection including saliva collection, setting up dim light conditions, training subjects, data entry, assisting with light exposure, and entertaining subjects. Data collection will be done in teams, and each team will be assigned to work certain days of the week - not always Monday through Friday, often Saturday and Sunday - in research protocols that involve working unusual schedules (early shifts may start at 5:00 AM and late shifts may end at 1:00 AM).


  • Bootcamp: There will be an all-day training on April 7th on main campus that apprentices are required to attend. There are no exceptions.
  • Summer: The apprenticeship runs from May 14th to August 24th. Apprentices are expected to devote the summer entirely to this academic research experience and not have other jobs or take course work.
  • Retreat: Each apprentice will complete a presentation based upon library research, presented to the group at the end-of-summer retreat in Estes Park from August 11th-13th. Additionally, invited scientists in the areas of sleep or circadian rhythms research will give presentations describing their career paths and their scientific research.

Stipend and Other Benefits

  • $4,000 for the summer. Apprentices are required to submit a UROP Assistantship application by February 2nd. Any funds not covered by UROP will be covered by the lab.*
  • Paid travel and lodging for Estes Park retreat.
  • *Every apprentice will receive $4000. The UROP Assistantship covers $2000, and those who receive the award will be paid an additional $2000 by the lab. Those who do not receive the UROP Assistantship will be paid $4000 directly by the lab. Stipends are subject to taxes and fees, and payments will occur every 2 weeks across the summer starting 2 weeks after the program begins.


This research opportunity is open to all CU Boulder undergraduate students. Please send your completed application (see below), resume or CV, and unofficial transcript to by 5:00 PM on January 26th, 2018. Candidates will be interviewed in person. Upon acceptance into the program, apprentices will be required to pass a background check.


Cartoon: 'Shedding Light on the Development of Childhood Sleep Problems "Shedding Light on the Development of Childhood Sleep Problems" - Cartoon by Leif Saul describing research by Monique LeBourgeois and Lameese Akacem.

Recent Publications


  • 2005-2010, Mentored Research Scientist Development Award, "Sleep-Wake Regulation and Emotion in Early Childhood."

  • 2005-2010, Minimitter/Respironics, "Reliability and Validity of the Minimitter Actiwatch in Preschool Children."

  • 2009-2014, NIH, "Asthma and Academic Functioning in Urban Children (Koinis-Mitchell, PI; LeBourgeois, CO-I)."

  • 2009-2011, NIH, "Disadvantaged Children: Predictors & Outcomes of Sleep Behaviors (Hale, PI; LeBourgeois, CO-I)."

  • 2010, Sleep Resource Foundation, "Circadian Regulation of Sleep."

  • 2010-2015, NIH, "Sleep and Emotion Regulation across Early Childhood."