Friday January 19, 2018

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

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A child sleeping, Pixabay
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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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A lesson in the woods may boost kids’ learning

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student's attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

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Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
  • To help students concentrate and learn more, teachers have found a new way of teaching them.
  • This technique of teaching outdoors will boost children’s mental capabilities to learn and remember.

Are your students unable to concentrate on their lessons in the classroom? Take them for outdoor learning sessions.

According to a study, a lesson in the lap of nature can significantly increase children’s attention level and boost their learning.

While adults exposed to parks, trees or wildlife have been known to experience benefits such as increased physical activity, stress reduction, rejuvenated attention and increased motivation, in children, even a view of greenery through a classroom window can have positive effects on their attention span, the researchers said.

The study showed that post an outdoor lesson, students were significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork and were not overexcited or inattentive.

Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons
Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student’s attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

“Our teachers were able to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long at a time after the outdoor lesson and we saw the nature effect with our sceptical teacher as well,” said Ming Kuo, a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers tested their hypothesis in third graders (9-10 years old) in a school.

A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA
A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA

Over a 10-week period, an experienced teacher held one lesson a week outdoors and a similar lesson in her regular classroom and another, more sceptical teacher did the same. Their outdoor “classroom” was a grassy spot just outside the school, in view of a wooded area.

A previous research suggested that 15 minutes of self-paced exercise can also significantly improve a child’s mood, attention and memory. IANS