Tuesday November 12, 2019

Children Who Nap Midday are Happier, Excel Academically

The study revealed strong connections between the afternoon shut-eye sessions and positive outcomes

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Sleep, Mental Health, Students
Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues. Pixabay

Kids who take 30-to-60 minute mid-day naps at least three times a week are happier and have more self-control and grit. They also display fewer behavioural problems as compared to children who skip afternoon naps, says a study.

Published in the SLEEP journal, the study revealed strong connections between the afternoon shut-eye sessions and positive outcomes in a handful of areas in the overall development of kids.

“A study of nearly 3,000 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders ages 10-12 revealed a connection between midday napping and greater happiness, self-control, and grit; fewer behavioural problems; and higher IQ, the latter particularly for the sixth graders. The most robust findings were associated with academic achievement,” said Adrian Raine, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“Children who napped three or more times per week benefit from a 7.6 per cent increase in academic performance in Grade,” Raine said.

Children, Nap, Midday, Happier
Kids who take 30-to-60 minute mid-day naps at least three times a week are happier. Pixabay

During the study, from each of 2,928 children, the researchers collected data about napping frequency and duration once the children hit grades four through six, as well as outcome data when they reached grade six, including psychological measures like grit, happiness and physical measures.

The research team also asked teachers to provide behavioural and academic information about each student.

They then analysed associations between each outcome and napping, adjusting for sex, grade, school location, parental education, and nightly time in bed.

“Many lab studies across all ages have demonstrated that naps can show the same magnitude of improvement as a full night of sleep on discrete cognitive tasks. Here, we had the chance to ask real-world, adolescent school children questions across a wide range of behavioural, academic, social, and physiological measures,” said Sara Mednick, Associate Professor at the University of California.

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“The more students sleep during the day, the greater the benefit of naps on many of these measures, ” she added. (IANS)

Next Story

Impaired Liver Function During Pregnancy Leads To Obese Kids

Impaired liver function during pregnancy increases the risks of obesity in kids

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Pregnancy
Impaired liver function during pregnancy may increase the risk of obesity in children. PIxabay

Impaired liver function during pregnancy may alter gut bacteria composition and increase the risk of obesity in children, according to a new study.

In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired, particularly when they were fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

“These findings further suggest that health during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children. In this case they suggest that gut microbiome alterations, may increase the risk of obesity in children, when fed a western style, high-fat diet, ” said study researcher Caroline Ovadia from King’s College London.

The most common liver disease in pregnancy, intrahepatic cholestasis (ICP), reduces the release of digestive fluid bile from the liver causing bile acids to build up in the blood, impairing liver function. This causes severe itching in the mother and increases risks of stillbirth and preterm birth for the baby.

pregnancy
In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired. Pixabay

Previous studies suggest that children of women with ICP are more likely to develop childhood obesity.

For the findings, the research team investigated how gut microbiota are affected in the offspring of a mouse model of ICP.

The results reported that the offspring had a different gut microbiome composition and liver function, particularly when fed a high-fat diet, which could contribute to impaired metabolism and increase risk of obesity.

The results suggest that mice born to mothers with ICP, or other liver diseases, may benefit from maintaining a healthy diet and should avoid fatty foods.

These findings also suggest that targeting microbiome composition with treatment strategies in pregnant women, such as using pre-biotics or pro-biotics, could help prevent the risk of child obesity.

Also Read- Parents With Only Child More Likely To Tackle Obese Kids

“Understanding changes in composition of the gut microbiome and their effects may provide new ways of diagnosing patients at particular risk of obesity before it occurs. We could then develop personalised medicine and target appropriate treatments to alter gut bacteria accordingly,” Ovadia added.

The study was presented at The Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference in the UK. (IANS)