Carley WilsonStudent Research Spotlight - Carley Wilson

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida
Major: Bachelor’s degree in physical activity and health
College: Education
Department: Kinesiology
Class year: 2020
Faculty mentor: Melissa Pangelinan

High Levels of Moderate-To-Vigorous Physical Activity Reduce Sleep Problems in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

What are you researching?
I am currently evaluating how exercise impacts restful sleep in children/adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, or ADS. This was done by evaluating their movement in sleep during an exercise intervention (tennis camp) and on days where there was no tennis camp. I used an ActiGraph watch device, which is very similar to a Fitbit.

How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
There is very little research done on the correlations between sleep and physical activity in those with ASD. This type of research can benefit the individual with ASD and their family as they may now have more insight as to what could help them get more restful sleep.

Tell us why you enjoy research.
Being able to learn in a hands-on way about topics you are interested in is extremely rewarding, not to mention the fact that research like this helps us better understand ASD and the complexity of it. It also has allowed me to form meaningful relationships with faculty and students involved in my research project.

What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
I would wholeheartedly advise you to go for it. It has been my favorite part of my time here at Auburn. It helps you better grasp what you are learning in your major and also allows you to form endless connections with those also involved in research. Not to mention, you may be able to go to really awesome locations to present your research.

Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
I love to practice yoga, hang out with friends and family and go to concerts and music festivals. My time at Auburn would not have been the same without undergraduate research, and if you are even thinking about it, go for it!

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