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.
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.
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.
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
"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."
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.
Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ūüėČ 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.
This blog is great check it out
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?
I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.
Fairly high-quality explanation. continue the good work
Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!
this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.
This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!
I really like this post
I really like this post
Wow this blog is very nice!
Impressive! Thanks for the post
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.
Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is useful. Thank you for sharing!
Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.
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.
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is also really good.
Thanks for the information.
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.
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.
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!
Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a really good article√Ė but what can I say√Ė I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.
nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful
Wow this blog is very nice!
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.
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.
I enjoy reading through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!
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!
Excellent post! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.
I was able to find good advice from your articles.
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 post√Ė