Tuesday June 18, 2019

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

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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Unable to Sleep at Night? This One Trick Can Help Advance Snooze Time by 2 Hours

Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days

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Sleep, Night, Trick
Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls — people with extreme late sleeping and waking habits – bring forward their sleep/wake timings by two hours.

Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings, better eating habits and a decrease in depression and stress among people with late sleeping habits, showed the findings.

The study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, showed that it was possible to shift the circadian rhythm of ‘night owls’ using non-pharmacological and practical interventions.

“Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days, which can lead to a range of adverse outcomes – from daytime sleepiness to poorer mental wellbeing,” said study co-author Andrew Bagshaw from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Sleep, Night, Trick
A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls. Pixabay

The researchers wanted to see if simple things could solve this issue.

In an experiment with a small group of participants that spanned for three weeks, the group were asked to wake up two-three hours before regular wake up time and maximise outdoor light during the mornings.

They were also asked to go to bed two-three hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening, have fixed sleep/wake times on both work days and free days and have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7 p.m.

“We wanted to see if there were simple things people could do at home to solve this issue. This was successful, on average allowing people to get to sleep and wake up around two hours earlier than they were before,” Bagshaw said.

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“Most interestingly, this was also associated with improvements in mental wellbeing and perceived sleepiness, meaning that it was a very positive outcome for the participants.” (IANS)