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Why teachers should make sleep a priority

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“We all know the stereotype of the coffee-guzzling, yawning teacher – but that image has its roots in the very real stress that early starts and long hours can put on your body. So how can you look after yourself as you adjust to the demanding schedule of school life? We spoke to sleep expert Dr Frances Le Cornu Knight from UCL to find out how to get enough rest.”(more)

Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPs told

The Guardian – Sally Weale

“Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in schools, with pupils struggling to concentrate in lessons due to lack of sleep, MPs have been told. Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, highlighted the issue while being questioned by MPs who are investigating the role of education in preventing mental health problems in children and young people. Lack of sleep has been linked to children’s use of mobile phones and tablets late into the night, MPs sitting on the joint inquiry by the Commons health and education committees were told at Wednesday’s hearing.”(more)

Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter – brain cells involved in movement, memory, emotions, speech, perception, decision making and self-control – in several regions of the brains of children with sleep apnea. The finding points to a strong connection between this common sleep disturbance, which affects up to five percent of all children, and the loss of neurons or delayed neuronal growth in the developing brain. This extensive reduction of gray matter in children with a treatable disorder provides one more reason for parents of children with symptoms of sleep apnea to consider early detection and therapy.”(more)

Tired teens 4.5 times more likely to commit crimes as adults

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Teenagers who self-report feeling drowsy mid-afternoon also tend to exhibit more anti-social behavior such as lying, cheating, stealing and fighting. Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of York, in the United Kingdom, shows that those same teens are 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes a decade and a half later. “It’s the first study to our knowledge to show that daytime sleepiness during teenage years are associated with criminal offending 14 years later,” said Adrian Raine, the Richard Perry University Professor with appointments in the departments of Criminology and Psychology in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.”(more)

Children with a communication disorder have poorer sleep, says study

Medical X-Press – George Wigmore

“Children with a communication disorder such as autism have poorer sleep, compounding the existing language issues that result from such conditions, according to a new study from City, University of London. The study, which is published in the International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, is one of the first to document sleep behaviours in children with language impairment, and to look at the relationship between language and sleep.”(more)

Study links shorter sleep and sugar-sweetened drink consumption

Medical X-Press – Steve Tokar

“People who sleep five or fewer hours a night are likely to also drink significantly more sugary caffeinated drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks, according to a new study of more than 18,000 adults led by UC San Francisco scientists.”(more)