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.
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.
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.
Back when Jill Vialet was a kid, she used to play with her neighborhood friends for hours at a time, unsupervised. It seemed unstructured, because no adults had established any parameters. But in fact, all their games had rules.
“We knew how to pick teams, resolve conflicts, there were spoken and unspoken rules,” she says. “There was a real culture of play. There was a real structure but kids owned it.”
Boys are physically maturing earlier than ever, and pediatricians should warn parents that deeper voices may mean that boys need more, not less, supervision in some ways, according to a European study.
Research at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, noted that the age of sexual maturity has been decreasing by about 2.5 months each decade at least since the middle of the 18th century. But Joshua Goldstein, the institute’s director, said that even though it is widely accepted that girls are maturing earlier and earlier, only recently have researchers been able to actually document that trend for boys.
How surging hormones make the developing brain more vulnerable to stress.