WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Insufficient sleep among adolescents may not only contribute to lower grades and a lack of motivation, but may also increase the odds of serious levels of emotional and behavioral disturbances, including ADHD, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
The study, authored by Fred Danner, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, focused on 882 high school freshmen who provided information about their sleep habits and school grades and also completed psychological and behavioral assessments.Advertisements
Dr. Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University is one of the authorities in the field. A couple of years ago, Sadeh sent 77 fourth-graders and sixth-graders home with randomly drawn instructions to either go to bed earlier or stay up later for three nights. Each child was given an actigraph (a wristwatchlike device that’s equivalent to a seismograph for sleep activity), which enabled Sadeh’s team to learn that the first group managed to get 30 minutes more sleep per night. The latter got 31 minutes less sleep.
After the third night’s sleep, a researcher went to the school in the morning to test the children’s neurobiological functioning. The test they used is highly predictive of both achievement-test scores and how teachers will rate a child’s ability to maintain attention in class.
Since 1996, Kyla Wahlstrom and her research team at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) have led the way in the study of later start times for high school students, beginning with their study of the impact of later start times on educational achievement in two different districts.
Scientists have known for decades that the ability to remember newly learned information declines with age, but it was not clear why. A new study may provide part of the answer.
The report, posted online on Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggests that structural brain changes occurring naturally over time interfere with sleep quality, which in turn blunts the ability to store memories for the long term.
The notion that struggling and failing is important to learning runs counter to traditional approaches to U.S. education. In fact, failure and its accompanying “F” grade stigmatizes a student as unprepared or “challenged” and is usually seen as a predictor of failure in future grades.
You’re proud of yourself for limiting your child to just 20 minutes of television a day, and rightfully so. But did you ever think about the television that she might be exposed to when she’s not actively watching? According to a 2012 study published in Pediatrics, this type of television exposure, called background television, may be more common—and more harmful—than you think.
The moment has arrived. Your little baby has sprouted wings and is ready to leave the nest – at least for a few hours. Preschool looms on the horizon.