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Children who do not get enough Sleep more likely to have problems with attention and Emotional control

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New York, March 12, 2017: Children between age 3 and 7 who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships, says a study.

“We found that children who get an insufficient amount of sleep in their pre-school and early school-age years have a higher risk of poor neuro-behavioral function at around age 7,” said lead researcher Elsie Taveras from the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in the US.

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“The associations between insufficient sleep and poorer functioning persisted even after adjusting for several factors that could influence the relationship,” Taveras said.

As in previous studies from this group examining the role of sleep in several areas of child health, the current study analysed data from Project Viva, a long-term investigation of the health impacts of several factors during pregnancy and after birth.

Information used in this study was gathered from mothers at in-person interviews when their children were around 6 months, 3 years and 7 years old, and from questionnaires completed when the children were aged 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 years.

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In addition, mothers and teachers were sent survey instruments evaluating each child’s executive function – which includes attention, working memory, reasoning and problem solving — and behavioural issues — including emotional symptoms and problems with conduct or peer relationships, when children were around 7.

Among 1,046 children enrolled in Project Viva, the study team determined which children were not receiving the recommended amount of sleep at specific age categories — 12 hours or longer at ages 6 months to 2 years, 11 hours or longer at ages 3 to 4 years, and 10 hours or longer at 5 to 7 years.

The study, published online in the journal Academic Pediatrics, found significant differences in the responses of parents and teachers to surveys regarding executive function and behavioural problems in 7-year-old children depending on how much sleep they regularly got at younger ages. (IANS)

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Here’s How Support From School May Help ADHD Children

While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families

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How school support may help ADHD children. Pixabay

One-to-one support and a focus on self-regulation may improve academic outcomes of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests.

ADHD refers to a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

“Children with ADHD are of course all unique. It’s a complex issue and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” said Tamsin Ford, Professor from the the University of Exeter in the UK.

“However, our research gives the strongest evidence to date that non-drug interventions in schools can support children to meet their potential in terms of academic and other outcomes,” said Ford.

For the study, published in the journal Review of Education, the team found 28 randomised control trials on non-drug measures to support children with ADHD in schools.

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The results indicate that children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills. Pixabay

They found that important aspects of successful interventions for improving the academic outcomes of children are when they focus on self-regulation and are delivered in one-to-one sessions.

According to the study, self-regulation is hard for children who are very impulsive and struggle to focus attention.

In addition, the children were set daily targets which were reviewed via a card that the child carried between home and school and between lessons in school and rewards were given for meeting targets.

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While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families.

“More and better quality research is needed but in the mean-time, schools should try daily report cards and to increase children’s ability to regulate their emotions. These approaches may work best for children with ADHD by one-to-one delivery,” Ford noted. (IANS)