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Here’s how to chase away your child’s scary dreams

The Miami Herald – Rachel Spector

“Scary dreams are, well, scary, both for the adults who worry about what’s frightening their children and for the youngsters who think their nightmares are real. Bad dreams seem to peak during the preschool years, when fear of the dark is common. They’re also prevalent in children ages 6 to 10. That’s when kids tend to incorporate real-life fears – such as being kidnapped or shot – into their dreams. One study by Dutch researchers, in fact, found that 96 percent of 7- to 9-year-olds reported having nightmares, as compared with 68 percent of 4- to 6-year-olds and 76 percent of 10- to 12-year-olds.” (more)

Napping and teenage learning

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Teenagers and sleep. It’s certainly a passionate subject for many American parents, and those in China. University of Delaware’s Xiaopeng Ji is investigating the relationship between midday-napping behaviors and neurocognitive function in early adolescents. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the School of Nursing assistant professor and principal investigator Jianghong Liu (University of Pennsylvania) turned to the Chinese classroom. With participants from schools in Jintan, she measured midday napping, nighttime sleep duration and sleep quality, and performance on multiple neurocognitive tasks.” (more)

Study finds bad sleep habits start early in school-age children

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Bad sleep habits in children begin earlier than many experts assume. That’s the takeaway from a new study led by McGill University researchers. The findings suggest that official sleep guidelines for young school children should be revisited – and that parents ought to maintain firm bedtime rules throughout children’s primary-school years. The researchers studied the sleep patterns of children aged six to 11 years old, and found that those aged 8-11 increasingly showed the unhealthy patterns usually associated with adolescence: delayed bedtimes, inconsistent schedules, and sleep deprivation. Such patterns have been shown to impair children’s physical and mental health, as well as academic performance.” (more)

Sleepy U.S. teens are running on empty

UPI – Steven Reinberg

“Nearly 58 percent of middle school students in nine states and almost 73 percent of high school students across the country don’t get the recommended amount of nightly shuteye, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Children and adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are at increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems, which can affect them academically,” said report author Anne Wheaton, a CDC epidemiologist.” (more)

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)