Tuesday November 19, 2019

Sleep Deprivation: Why are Children Affected by it?

According to a survey, 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation

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Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Deprivation is becoming common among children. Pixabay
  • Sleep deprivation is becoming a common scenario nowadays
  • 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation
  • Sleep deprivation leads to poor attention and fall in academic performance of children

June 29, 2017: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sleep as the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. Proper sleep is an essential to maintain good health as it relaxes our body and freshens up the mind.

However, nowadays sleep deprivation (a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.) is becoming a common scenario, especially among children. According to a survey of National Sleep Foundation, 25 to 30 percent of normally developing children and adolescents are not getting enough sleep consistently.

The lack of sleep is leading to irritation, crankiness, poor social interactions, poor attention, worse grades and school absences amongst children.

Why are children sleep deprived?

  • Some children stay awake till late at night by personal choice. They choose to do so in order to complete their work or to have fun at night merely. Late night use of social media by adolescents has become a common phenomenon these days.
  • Some diseases such as cold and tonsillitis can cause snoring, gagging and frequent waking, and have a direct effect on sleep by fragmenting it.
  • Children can also be affected by sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Parasomnias or Behavioral Insomnia (Inability to sleep enough).
  • Some medications used to treat disorders such as epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause sleep deprivation.

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  • The improper sleeping environment may also contribute to sleep deprivation. If the room is too hot or too cold or there is continuous noise, children find it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor habits such as late night coffee stimulate the nervous system and make sleep less likely.
  • Stress is a major contributor to sleep deprivation. Lying in bed and worrying causes tension rather than relaxation.

Effects of Sleep deprivation in children

According to a research of National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation results in children in:

  • Poor concentration leading to a fall in academic performance.
  • Chronically sleep-deprived teenagers become more impulsive leading to risk-taking behaviors.
  • Sleeping problems increase the risk of disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Children start getting negative feelings which may lead to depression.

By Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

Next Story

Lack of Sleep Alters Fat Metabolism, Says Study

Nonetheless, according to Buxton, the study gives worthwhile insight into how we handle fat digestion

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The research revealed that 41 per cent of the people surveyed suffered from irregular sleep patterns because of work-related stress and working late at night. Pixabay

Lack of sleep can be harmful as it can make participants feel less full after eating and metabolise the fat in food differently, says a study, adding to the mounting evidence that how harmful lack of sleep can be.

The study, published in the journal of Lipid Research, by Pennsylvania State University found that sleep disruption has been known to be have harmful effects on metabolism for some time.

Orfeu Buxton, a professor at Penn State, added that long-term sleep restriction puts people at a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

Kelly Ness, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, ran the study when she was a graduate student in Buxton’s lab.

She and other researchers not only collected data but also spent time, “interacting with the subjects, playing games with them, talking with them — helping to keep them awake and engaged and positive.”

To find out how the uncomfortable schedule affected metabolism, the researchers gave participants a standardized high-fat dinner, a bowl of chili mac, after four nights of sleep restriction.

“It was very palatable — none of our subjects had trouble finishing it — but very calorically dense,” Ness said, adding that most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep deprived than, when they had eaten it well-rested.

Phone, Sleep Problems, Week
Limiting evening exposure to blue-light emitting screens on smartphones, tablets and computers can reverse sleep problems. Flickr

Researchers then compared blood samples from the study participants. They found that sleep restriction affected the postprandial lipid response, leading to faster clearance of lipids from the blood after a meal. That could predispose people to put on weight.

“The lipids weren’t evaporating — they were being stored,” Buxton explained.

This study was highly controlled, which makes it an imperfect model for the real world, Ness said.

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It focused on healthy young people, who are usually at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and all of the participants were men.

The researchers also wondered whether giving more recovery time would change the magnitude of recovery they observed.

Nonetheless, according to Buxton, the study gives worthwhile insight into how we handle fat digestion. (IANS)