Children in primary school will participate in a special training to improve their sleep behaviour. Experts will then examine how this affects the children's performance at school.
This study - which is supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF - will not only provide valuable scientific insight into sleeping behaviour, but will also evaluate sleep improvement techniques that can be taught to all children with the aim of improving their performance at school.
We know that sleep is essential for survival, but we do not yet know for sure which particular functions sleep performs in living things. It has been proven, however, that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can lead to various psychological and physical problems, whereas improving sleep quality has a positive effect on people.
In a current study, Dr. Kerstin Hoedlmoser and Dr. Manuel Schabus from the Department of Psychology at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg are investigating whether sleeping longer and more soundly improves the memory capacity of schoolchildren and helps boosting their performance. The research project focuses on 60 children aged between eight and eleven. It aims not only to examine their sleep behaviour but also to improve it with special training methods.LEARNING HOW TO SLEEP
Every child will complete various tests at the beginning and end of the study to evaluate memory, concentration and performance at school. This will provide the researchers with an insight into the relationship between sleep and cognitive performance. Dr. Hoedlmoser obtained clear results with a similar study conducted with adult participants: "We showed that neurofeedback training improves the sleep behaviour of adults. Subjects were able to fall asleep faster and were also far more successful in recalling word pairs." The presented study is now seeking to determine whether similar results can be achieved within schoolchildren.
Because of the high relevance of sleep problems among young children, this FWF-supported project focuses on this particular age group. The study is interested in gaining a scientific insight into sleep behaviours among children and additionally investigating preventive techniques for sleep problems. It is for these reasons that the findings of the study will be published and made available to the general public once it has been concluded.Scientific Contact:
Marta Korinkova | PR&D
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