healthy sleep is essential for alertness and other key functions related to
academic success, research involving the impact of the amount of sleep on a
child’s day-to-day behavior in school is limited. An estimated 64 percent of
school-aged children (ages 6 to 12) go to bed later than 9 p.m., and 43 percent
of boys ages 10 to 11 sleep less than the recommended amount each night. In the
study, “Impact of Sleep Extension and Restriction on Children’s Emotional Lability and Impulsivity,” published in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 15), a
modest addition of sleep each night – an average of 27 minutes among children
ages 7 to 11 – resulted in significant improvement in their ability to regulate
their emotions, including limiting restless-impulsive behavior in school.
Conversely, children who decreased their sleep 54 minutes were associated with
detectable deterioration of such measures. Study authors say these new findings
support the importance of sleep among school-age children, and the need for
greater efforts to eliminate child sleep problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an
organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical
subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the
health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and
young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.