Lack of Sleep Affecting Children

We all know that when we do not get enough sleep we feel run down and out of it and the less sleep we get the thicker and slower the thinking process seems to be, so it should come as no surprise that lack of sleep can also adversely affect kids.

Getting kids to go to bed can be...well tiring but a recent study done at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB in Spanish) and Ramón Llull University tells us that “Sleeping less then nine hours affects children’s academic skills.”  An article posted at News Medical on September 15, 2011 explains these interesting findings which may surprise you.

"Most children sleep less than is recommended for their intellectual development, which is hindered because the lack of sleep cannot be recovered. This is the first Spanish study that proves that losing out on hours of sleep and bad habits affect schoolchildren's academic performance," stated Ramón Cladellas, researcher at the Faculty of Psychology at the UAB.

Researchers asked the parents of 142 children between the ages of 6 and 7 about their children’s sleep habits and found that of the 65 girls and 77 boys from different schools the total number of hours slept had a marked impact on academic skills.

"Although the sample of children sleep almost 8 hours, their sleeping habit shows us that 69% return home after 9pm at least three evenings a week or they go to bed after 11pm at least four nights a week. As such, pupils that sleep 8 or 9 hours have a worse performance than those that sleep 9 or 11 hours," the experts pointed out.

"Taking into account the results obtained, we believe that more than 9 hours sleep and a nightly routine favors academic performance," added Cladellas.

Bottom line? Get the children to bed on time every night if you expect them to excel in school and bring home good grades.

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