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A hard lesson—the way poor sleep impacts on schooling

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“More than a third of primary school children are failing to get sufficient sleep, according to research to be presented at the British Sleep Society conference tomorrow (October 12th). The study has linked poor sleep with difficulties in paying attention in class, keeping up with school work, forgetfulness and absenteeism. The NHS recommendation is that children of that age should get ten 10 hours sleep per night.The study discovered that out of 1,100 children aged six to 11, 36 per cent were getting eight hours or less sleep on a weekday night.”(more)

Is ADHD a sleep disorder? That would fundamentally change how we treat it

The Star – Ariana Eunjung Cha

“Over the past two decades, U.S. parents and teachers have reported epidemic levels of children with trouble focusing, impulsive behaviour and so much energy that they are bouncing off walls. Educators, policy-makers and scientists have referred to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, as a national crisis and have spent billions of dollars looking into its cause.”(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)

Children and adolescents more severely affected by time change

Medical X-Press – Johannes Angerer

“At 2 o’clock in the morning this coming Sunday the clocks will go forward to 3 o’clock – from winter time to summer time. We will therefore “lose” an hour of our normal sleeping time. Many people don’t even notice this “mini jetlag.” However, children and adolescents should be prepared for this change, because they are the most severely affected by it. This was stressed by Gerhard Klösch, sleep researcher at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Neurology. This is partly due to the different physiology of young people and partly to the constant availability of digital devices such as mobiles, tablets or computers. Says Klösch: “Up to the age of 10 we need between ten and eleven hours of restorative sleep and, as adolescent, around nine hours. It’s only when we are older that seven hours sleep is enough.” Scientific studies have shown that the change-over to summer time effectively costs children and adolescents 32 minutes sleep – and this deficit can be repeated daily for a period of two weeks and thus accumulate.”(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)