Dr. Felder and colleagues make national news for groundbreaking research on insomnia during pregnancy

Sleep problems are common during pregnancy, but new research by AME researchers Jennifer Felder and Aric Prather indicates that more severe sleep disorders are associated with increased risk of preterm birth. They found that women with an insomnia diagnosis during pregnancy were at nearly two-fold higher risk of delivering before 34 weeks gestation. To learn more, see our article in the New York Times or listen to Dr. Felder’s interview on BBC World Service


These findings are important because approximately 1 in 10 pregnant women deliver their baby too early in the United States, and preterm birth is a leading cause of death before age 5 globally. It's possible that by treating sleep disorders, we can reduce the preterm birth rate.

However, there is very little research on how best to improve sleep during pregnancy. Drs. Felder, Prather, and Epel are studying whether digital cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is effective for treating insomnia during pregnancy. For more information on CBT, check out Dr. Felder’s recent article on goop. We are recruiting pregnant women to participate in the Research on Expecting moms and Sleep Therapy (REST) Study. Women can participate from anywhere because all study visits take place online or by phone. To find out if you are eligible to participate, take our 15-minute screening survey

We are really trying to help pregnant women and would love if you could spread the word about our study! 



Co-director Epel as "Aging Influencer"

This September, AME Co-Director Elissa Epel will be honored with the Alliance on Aging Research's prestigious 2017 Silver Innovator Award for her groundbreaking work on the psychological, social, and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress which accelerate biological aging. 

Her recent book (co-authored with Elizabeth Blackburn), "The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger," is a New York Times bestseller in the science category.

Why Sleep is So Crucial for Your Telomeres

Telomeres are the caps at the end of chromosomes that protect your cells and genes. When telomeres get short from aging, (or a lifestyle that promotes aging,), our cells cannot replenish. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep these caps long and happy.

This week, we're taking a deep dive into sleep and cell aging. You are probably thinking: "Of course I should get a good night's sleep, I already knew that." But if sleep is so important, why is it that 45% of you are probably still chronically sleep-deprived? Do you skim off minutes of much-needed sleep each night, and let that add up to a deeply internalized weariness? Here is some new motivation for why you should become part of the well-rested majority: sleep affects your body all the way down to your cells!

UCSF Showcases AME Research: Evidence to Make and Keep your New Year's Resolution in 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- In case you needed motivation to make healthy changes in 2017, AME Researchers Drs. Eli Puterman, Aric Prather, Elissa Epel, and more have their research featured on the UCSF website today. UCSF writer Nina Bai summarized some of the most important and recent research about healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction, and sleep. 

"More than half of Americans make a New Year’s resolution each year, and though most people set out with the best of intentions, just a small percentage are successful in following through on their resolutions.

To give you a bit of scientific motivation, UC San Francisco gathered some of the latest research behind the most popular health-related New Year’s resolutions that attest to why it really is good for your body to see them through."

Read the full article here

Study Links Shorter Sleep and Sugar-Sweetened Drink Consumption

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-- AME Co-Director, Dr. Aric Prather published a new study that will be included in the December 2016 issue of Sleep Health. According to the study of more than 18,000 adults, people who sleep five or fewer hours a night are likely to also drink significantly more sugary caffeinated drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks. 

“We think there may be a positive feedback loop where sugary drinks and sleep loss reinforce one another, making it harder for people to eliminate their unhealthy sugar habit,” said lead author Aric A. Prather, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF. “This data suggests that improving people’s sleep could potentially help them break out of the cycle and cut down on their sugar intake, which we know to be linked to metabolic disease.”

Read the full article at UC News Room