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Okayama-shi, Japan

Notre Dame Seishin University is a private women's college in Okayama, Okayama, Japan. The predecessor of the school, women's school, was founded in 1886, and it was chartered as a university in 1949. Wikipedia.


Doi Y.,Japan National Institute of Public Health | Ishihara K.,Notre Dame Seishin University | Uchiyama M.,Nihon University
Chronobiology International | Year: 2014

We studied the sleep/wake patterns and circadian typology of Japanese preschool children living in the Tokyo metropolitan area (193 boys and 190 girls, 4-6 years of age) from June to July 2012 based on a standardized parental self-reporting questionnaire. Our major findings are as follows: (1) sleep/wake timing was delayed, and the duration of nocturnal sleep (sleep period as well as time in bed) increased from that on scheduled days (weekdays) to that on free days (weekends) for all ages. (2) The duration of daily sleep (24 h), including daytime nap, was longer for 4-year-old children compared with that in 5- to 6-year-old children, but not significantly different between scheduled and free days within each age group. (3) The distribution of chronotypes was 36.3% for morning (M)-type, 48.8% for neither (N)-type and 11.2% for evening (E)-type, and this distribution was independent of sex or age. (4) Sleep/wake timing delays were observed from M-type and N-type to E-type during scheduled and free days. (5) The duration of nocturnal sleep decreased but increased for 24-h sleep time from M-type and N-type to E-type on scheduled days. (6) Sleep durations did not differ among chronotypes on free days. (7) Chronotypes were associated with parents' diurnal preferences, mealtimes and attendance at kindergartens or childcare centers but not with sex, age, season of birth, exposure to multimedia or exposure to morning sunlight in their bedrooms. When these results were compared with those for older children and adolescents, similar sleep/wake patterns and circadian typology were observed, although to a lesser degree, in children as young as 4-6 years of age. Napping may compensate, in part, for an accumulated weekday sleep deficit. The distribution of chronotypes was associated with differences in sleep/wake timing and duration and was influenced by the parents' diurnal preferences and lifestyles. Further research on preschool children is required to investigate whether circadian typology affects their behavioral, emotional and cognitive development. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Doi Y.,Japan National Institute of Public Health | Ishihara K.,Notre Dame Seishin University | Uchiyama M.,Nihon University
Sleep and Biological Rhythms | Year: 2016

The aim of the study was to investigate the possible existence of a bifurcation point in sleep duration, which could differentiate children with behavioral problems from those without. We conducted a survey of children's sleep and health between June and July 2012. A total of 383 children aged 4-6 years were studied (193 boys, 190 girls; average age 4.7 years; 223 and 160 children attended kindergarten and childcare centers, respectively), based on their parents' reports using the Children's ChronoType Questionnaire and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. The dependent variable was the dichotomized behavior of total behavioral problems; the cut-off value was C13 points. The independent variable was sleep duration. The bifurcation point of sleep duration was the median value: 9.5 h for sleep period, 10.0 h for time in bed (TIB), and 10.5 h for the sum of TIB and naptime (24 h TIB). Binomial multiple logistic regression analyses were performed separately for sleep period, TIB, and 24 h TIB, which were controlled for chronotype, sex, age, and childcare programs; those corresponded to Models 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The results show that there was no significant association between total behavioral problems and sleep duration. However, using morning-type as a reference, adjusted odds ratios (95 % confidence intervals) for neither-type and evening-type were 2.06 (1.12-3.76) and 3.72 (1.60-8.66) in Model 1, 2.09 (1.14-3.82) and 3.89 (1.71-8.88) in Model 2, and 1.89 (1.03-3.50) and 3.61 (1.55-8.40) in Model 3. © Japanese Society of Sleep Research 2015.


Doi Y.,Japan National Institute of Public Health | Ishihara K.,Notre Dame Seishin University | Uchiyama M.,Nihon University
Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Background: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) has been widely used as a brief behavioral screening. The aim of this study was to examine the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the 3- to 4-yearold version of the SDQ (SDQ 3-4) in Japanese preschool children. Methods: The SDQ 3-4 was administered to 754 parents who had 4- to 6-year-old children attending kindergartens or childcare centers in Wako City, Japan, at 2 different times (Time 1 and Time 2) over a 2-week interval between June and July 2012. Cronbach's α and correlation coefficients were used to examine internal consistency and testretest reliability, respectively. Results: Of 393 parents who returned their responses at Time 1 (response rate 52.1%), 383 were used for analysis after excluding 10 responses with missing data. Their children's mean age was 4.7 (standard deviation 0.7) years. The internal consistency (Cronbach's a) was good for the total difficulties score (0.74) and the prosocial behavior scale (0.70). However, it was slightly worse for the emotional symptoms, conduct problems, and hyperactivity scales (0.61-0.66) and poor for the peer problems scale (0.45). Of the 383 included respondents at Time 1, 211 parents returned their responses at Time 2 (response rate: 55.1%). Test-retest reliability (correlation coefficients) was good (0.73-0.82), except for the peer problems scale (0.58). Conclusions: The results support the reliability of the SDQ 3-4 being satisfactory for the total difficulties score and prosocial behavior scale and being acceptable for the emotional symptoms, conduct problems, and hyperactivity scales in Japanese preschool children aged 4-6 years. © 2014 Yuriko Doi et al.


Doi Y.,Japan National Institute of Public Health | Ishihara K.,Notre Dame Seishin University | Uchiyama M.,Nihon University
Chronobiology International | Year: 2015

The timing, duration, and intensity of sleep are determined by the interaction between a sleep-wake-dependent homeostatic process and a sleep-wake-independent, intrinsic, clock-like circadian process. Chronotype represents individual differences in diurnal preferences, which are not only genetically determined but also influenced by social and environmental factors. Thus, the discrepancy between biological and social clocks, so-called "social jetlag", occurs. Chronotype, social jetlag, and the links between chronotype and behavioral problems are well documented in adults and adolescents. However, such studies on young children are limited. We conducted a survey of sleep and health for preschool children attending kindergarten or childcare centers in Wako, Okayama and Kurashiki cities, Japan, between May and July 2012. A total of 654 children aged 4-6 years (342 boys and 312 girls, with an average age of 4.7 years) were assessed using the Childrens ChronoType Questionnaire and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. Morning (M)-type, neither (N)-type and evening (E)-type accounted for 36.2%, 54.0% and 9.8% of the participants, respectively. The weekday-to-weekend differences in midsleep time - originally proposed as the concept of social jetlag - were 11, 25 and 35 min for M-, N- and E-types, respectively. There was a negative correlation between chronotype and sleep period during weekdays (p < 0.001) and a positive correlation on weekends (p < 0.001). The weekday-to-weekend difference in sleep period was 0.5 h for E-types, whereas there was no difference for M-types. Binomial logistic regression analyses were used to examine the links between chronotype and behavioral problems, adjusted for participants sex, age, childcare programs and locations. Chronotype was significantly associated with hyperactivity/inattention: N-type (adjusted OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.03-2.95, p < 0.05) and E-type (adjusted OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.18-5.20, p < 0.05). E-type was significantly associated with conduct problems (adjusted OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.03-4.31, p < 0.05) and peer problems (adjusted OR = 2.75, 95% CI = 1.18-6.44, p < 0.05). The results suggest that E-type children are vulnerable to higher social jetlag and more behavioral problems. The immature adjustment function of their endogenous circadian pacemakers may not be able to correct a small but significant social jetlag to synchronize with their social clocks. Furthermore, guidance based on chronobiological evidence is required for parents, teachers and health professionals to help children achieve optimal sleep and reduce behavioral problems. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Masuda T.,Kyoto University | Ohta K.,Kyoto University | Mikami B.,Kyoto University | Kitabatake N.,Notre Dame Seishin University | Tani F.,Kyoto University
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2012

Thaumatin, an intensely sweet-tasting plant protein, elicits a sweet taste at 50. nM. Although the sweetness remains when thaumatin is heated at 80°C for 4. h under acid conditions, it rapidly declines when heating at a pH above 6.5. To clarify the structural difference at high pH, the atomic structure of a recombinant thaumatin I at pH 8.0 was determined at a resolution of 1.0. å. Comparison to the crystal structure of thaumatin at pH 7.3 and 7.0 revealed the root-mean square deviation value of a Cα atom to be substantially greater in the large disulfide-rich region of domain II, especially residues 154-164, suggesting that a loop region in domain II to be affected by solvent conditions. Furthermore, B-factors of Lys137, Lys163, and Lys187 were significantly affected by pH change, suggesting that a striking increase in the mobility of these lysine residues, which could facilitate a reaction with a free sulfhydryl residue produced via the β-elimination of disulfide bonds by heating at a pH above 7.0. The increase in mobility of lysine residues as well as a loop region in domain II might play an important role in the heat-induced aggregation of thaumatin above pH 7.0. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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