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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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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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Piano Lessons Make Children Smarter, Claims New Study

However it did not appear to confer any benefit for overall cognitive ability, as measured by IQ, attention span, and working memory, the researchers said

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Piano lessons make children smarter, claims new study
Piano lessons make children smarter, claims new study. Pixabay

If your kid is slow in language skills, then sending him or her for piano lessons can improve word discrimination as well as language proficiency, says a study.

The findings suggested that piano lessons may have specific effect on the children’s ability to distinguish different pitches, which helped them to better distinguish different words.

However it did not appear to confer any benefit for overall cognitive ability, as measured by IQ, attention span, and working memory, the researchers said.

“The children didn’t differ in the more broad cognitive measures, but they did show some improvements in word discrimination, particularly for consonants. The piano group showed the best improvement there,” said Robert Desimone from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Representational image. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, included data from nearly 100 children aged four or five years, who were divided into three groups — one that received 45-minute piano lessons three times a week; one that received extra reading instruction for the same period of time; and one that received neither intervention.

After six months, the researchers tested the children on their ability to discriminate words based on differences in vowels, consonants, or tone.

The results showed that, children who had piano lessons showed a significant advantage over children in the extra reading group in discriminating between words that differ by one consonant.

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Children in both the piano group and extra reading group performed better than children who received neither intervention when it came to discriminating words based on vowel differences.

“That’s a big thing for kids in learning language: being able to hear the differences between words. They really did benefit from that,” Desimone added.

The researchers hope their findings could encourage other schools to keep or enhance their music offerings. (IANS)