Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A good night’s sleep can mean a better day at school

11.11.2005


Key factor: Children benefit from consistent bedtimes

When children stay up late, they have more academic and attention problems at school, according to a new study from Brown Medical School to be published in the December issue of the journal SLEEP. The findings indicate that ensuring students get enough sleep is a significant step in helping them maximize learning ability in class as well as minimizing behaviors characteristic of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"These findings have implications for how we understand attention problems in kids," said lead author Gahan Fallone, PhD, associate professor at the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Mo. "The children in our study were functioning well at school prior to the restricted sleep schedule. It’s likely that other kids who are physiologically or psychologically at risk for learning or attention problems could be even more vulnerable to the negative effects of inadequate sleep."



Dr. Fallone spoke today at the American Medical Association’s 24th annual Science Reporters Conference in Washington, D.C.

In the study, 74 healthy, academically successful children between the ages of 6 and 12 were monitored for a three-week period. During the first week of the study, they slept their normal amount. For the second two weeks, they went to bed a little earlier one week and much later than normal the other. Their teachers rated their academic performance and behavior at the end of each week. Results showed significantly lower ratings for academic performance and attention during the week that they slept fewer hours, despite the fact that teachers were not told which sleep schedule the kids were on.

To make sure the children actually slept their assigned number of hours at home, they kept sleep diaries, wore activity-monitoring devices and made bedtime and rise time phone calls to the E.P. Bradley Hospital Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory in Providence, R.I., where the study was conducted. "Most of the children also came to the lab each weekend for overnight sleep recording and assessment of daytime sleepiness with polysomnography," Dr. Fallone said.

It’s clear from previous research that sleep is a precious commodity for schoolchildren. "There’s a pretty steady decline in the amount of sleep kids get once they start school, and it’s scary to look at how little sleep kids actually get once they become teenagers," Dr. Fallone said.

This pattern likely holds true for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD as well. According to Fallone, who is a clinical psychologist, "If we don’t ask about sleep and try to optimize sleep patterns in kids with attention problems and academic difficulty, then we aren’t doing our job." Stimulants, the most frequently prescribed class of medication for attention problems, may make it more difficult for some children to get to sleep at night, he said. While stimulants often are helpful for children, "our results suggest that getting less sleep at night could work against the therapeutic action of the medication and minimize the benefits at school. Increasing medication under these circumstances could actually make things worse."

Dr. Fallone is investigating sleep patterns and sleepiness in children with ADHD, but results in the current report indicate that, even among well-functioning kids, staying up late can significantly affect attention and performance in school. The message for parents is clear, Dr. Fallone said. "If our goal is to set kids up for success at school, then getting them to bed on time should be as important as getting them to school on time."

He notes that parents and kids can easily get caught up in a multitude of after-school and weekend activities that ultimately erode sleep time. "Parents have to make tough choices and set limits to protect sleep time, and as a society we need to be more supportive of such attitudes," Dr. Fallone said. "My advice for parents is to maintain a consistent emphasis on the importance of sleep and not to back off from enforcing bedtimes with kids, whether it’s on school nights or weekend nights. Know when your kids are going to sleep and how they’re sleeping during the night. If your child is having persistent difficulty with sleep, then talk to your doctor and get help."

Marcie Johnson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ama-assn.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>