Monday February 26, 2018

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
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  • 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 

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Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression

The women provided annual surveys and blood samples so that the researchers could track sleep disruptions, other menopausal symptoms and hormone levels

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To track poor sleep, the surveys asked questions about the frequency of insomnia, restless sleep and sleep disturbances.
To track poor sleep, the surveys asked questions about the frequency of insomnia, restless sleep and sleep disturbances. Wikimedia Commons

A study of middle-aged women by the University of Illinois (UI) found that sleep problems vary across the stages of menopause, yet are consistently correlated with hot flashes and depression.

The UI researchers used data from the Midlife Women’s Health Study, which followed 776 women aged 45-54 in the greater Baltimore area for up to seven years.

The women provided annual surveys and blood samples so that the researchers could track sleep disruptions, other menopausal symptoms and hormone levels as women transitioned from pre- to post-menopause, Xinhua reported.

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To track poor sleep, the surveys asked questions about the frequency of insomnia, restless sleep and sleep disturbances.

The study found no correlation between the likelihood of reporting poor sleep before menopause, during menopause and after menopause.

Depression and hot flashes are two risk factors vary in reported frequency across menopausal stages.
Depression and hot flashes are two risk factors vary in reported frequency across menopausal stages. Wikimedia Commons

This means that for many women in the study, their reported sleep problems changed as they transitioned to different stages of menopause. In other words, women who had insomnia during menopause were not more likely to have insomnia after menopause.

In analyzing the surveys for any other symptoms or factors that might be associated with poor sleep, the researchers found that hot flashes and depression were strongly correlated with poor sleep across all stages of menopause.

Those two risk factors vary in reported frequency across menopausal stages, which might help explain why poor sleep also varies across the stages, the researchers said.

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The findings suggest that addressing those risk factors may also address sleep disruptions, as well as give women hope that their sleep symptoms may not last past the menopausal transition, said Rebecca Smith, a UI professor of pathobiology.

Smith conducted the study with Jodi Flaws and Megan Mahoney, professors of comparative biosciences at Illinois.

The study has been published in the journal Sleep Medicine. (IANS)

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