Kids who sleep more cope better
October 15th, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Kids who sleep more cope better

Sleepy school children make crabby classmates, while students who get plenty of sleep are better behaved, according to a new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.

"Extending sleep opens the door to an effective, feasible way to improve children's health and performance," says study author Reut Gruber, director of the Attention Behavior and Sleep Lab at the Douglas Research Center in Quebec, Canada.

The study

Gruber and his colleagues wanted to find out if the behavior of elementary school children was affected by how much sleep they got. The researchers, with the permission of parents, enrolled 34 students ages 7 to 11 in the study. These were healthy kids who didn't have sleep problems or behavior or academic issues.
During one week of school, half the students were put to bed earlier than normal, averaging about 27 minutes more sleep a night. The other half stayed up later than their routine bedtime, losing about 54 minutes of shut-eye each evening.

The results

Teachers - who didn't know the sleep status of the students - reported significant differences in how the children behaved and coped with everyday challenges. Students who were sleep-deprived not only seemed overly tired, but were more impulsive and irritable than their well-rested classmates. They were quick to cry, lose their tempers or get frustrated.

The children who got plenty of sleep had a better handle on their emotions and were more alert in class.

Sleep experts say these results make sense and provide more evidence about the importance of sleep.

"We know that sleep deprivation can affect memory, creativity, verbal creativity and even things like judgment and motivation and being (engaged) in the classroom," explains Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington. "When you're sleepy, (being engaged) isn't going to happen."

And when children have trouble coping with day-to-day situations, Owens adds, this can affect a child's relationship with teachers, as well as their success in school, social skills and the ability to get along with peers.

Tips for parents

So how do you know if your child is getting enough sleep? Children in elementary school generally need between 10 to 11 hours each evening, but no two children are alike. Parents should look for clues, experts say.

"Kids in this age range should not be sleepy during the day," Owens says. "If the are falling asleep in the car or watching TV, that's a red flag."

Another way to gauge your child's sleep need is to pay attention to how much they sleep during school vacations, when they're sleeping without a time schedule. If they consistently sleep longer than on school nights, your child probably isn't getting enough sleep.

Take action

Parents can take steps to get their children off to bed at a reasonable hour.

- About a half hour before bedtime, have your kids start winding down - put down the electronic devices, turn off the TV and shut down the computer
- Have a consistent bedtime and wake time and try to make this apply to the weekends as well
- Be good role models for your children. Go to bed at a reasonable time and talk to them about the importance of sleep

"Consider that (sleep) is one of the building blocks of your child's health, well-being and academic success," Owens says. "It's equivalent to good nutrition, exercise and all the other things we try to foster and provide for our children. You've got to put sleep right up there at the top of the list."

soundoff (1,045 Responses)
  1. rv repair shop near me

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 9, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Brigitte Edeline


    June 10, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. pressure washing near merritt island

    This blog is great check it out


    June 10, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. pressure washing services merritt island

    Thank you, I've just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?


    June 10, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. pressure washing around merritt island

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.


    June 10, 2021 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pressure washing merritt island fl

    Fairly high-quality explanation. continue the good work


    June 10, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. pressure washing around cocoa beach fl

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!


    June 10, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pressure washing companies cocoa beach

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    June 10, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pressure washing near Brevard County fl

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    June 10, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. pressure washing companies Brevard County

    I really like this post


    June 10, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. payday loan consolidate

    I really like this post


    June 10, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. payday loan consolidation help

    Wow this blog is very nice!


    June 10, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. debt consolidation for payday loans

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    June 10, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Faustino Elie

    May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what they're talking about online. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren't more popular because you surely have the gift.


    June 10, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tameka Hott


    June 10, 2021 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv repair service near me

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is useful. Thank you for sharing!


    June 10, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rod Mccaskill

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 10, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Malik Downhour

    After looking over a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I really like your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me what you think.


    June 10, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. rv repair service near me


    June 10, 2021 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Nenita Lanzarin


    June 10, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Isaias Chatriand

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is also really good.


    June 10, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Fredda Lesniak


    June 10, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. raleigh car body shop

    Thanks for the information.


    June 11, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv repair service near me


    June 11, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sona Jovanovic

    Can I just say what a comfort to find someone that truly knows what they're talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people need to read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you aren't more popular because you surely have the gift.


    June 11, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Dorsey Child


    June 11, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Peggy Valree


    June 11, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Reynaldo Grinage

    Hey there! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you've got here on this post. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.


    June 11, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. rv repair near me


    June 11, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. near me


    June 11, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv body shop


    June 11, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Shower Los Angeles

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I've read through a single thing like that before. So good to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    June 11, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sprinter Alignent Repair


    June 11, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mechanic Shop


    June 11, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. High Roof Sprinter Repair Panels

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 11, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. repairing rv blinds


    June 11, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. car collision repair raleigh

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful


    June 12, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Relentless Collision

    Wow this blog is very nice!


    June 12, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. after school programs gamrbills

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.


    June 12, 2021 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Camera Riverside

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    June 12, 2021 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Luxury Repair Shop


    June 12, 2021 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sprinter Blower Fan Repair Near Me


    June 12, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. progressive repair center

    I enjoy reading through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 12, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV And Camper Repair

    Hi, I believe your site could be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!


    June 12, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. boom truck repair

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 12, 2021 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Closest Trailer Repair Shop

    I was able to find good advice from your articles.


    June 12, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Shon Lowis


    June 12, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Kandace Fanizza


    June 12, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Estrella Menietto

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ


    June 12, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Marcel Pantalone


    June 12, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Leave a Reply to dpjiOCWdOZ


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.