How Lack Of Sleep Affects The Psyche Of Children

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How Lack Of Sleep Affects The Psyche Of Children
How Lack Of Sleep Affects The Psyche Of Children
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How lack of sleep affects the psyche of children

The recommended amount of sleep for children aged 6 to 12 is 9-12 hours. But sleep disturbances are prevalent among children and adolescents around the world due to rising demands at school, increasing screen time, sports and social events.

How lack of sleep affects the psyche of children
How lack of sleep affects the psyche of children

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Depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and cognitive decline in children are linked to sleep, according to the study, which is published in Molecular Psychiatry.

“The recommended amount of sleep for children aged 6 to 12 is 9-12 hours. However, sleep disorders are prevalent among children and adolescents around the world due to growing demands at school, increasing screen time, sports and social events,”said Jianfeng Feng, co-author of the study.

Scientists from the Universities of Warwick and Fudan analyzed data from 11,000 schoolchildren aged 9-11.

According to the results obtained, indicators of depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and deterioration in cognitive performance in children are associated with a decrease in the duration of sleep. In addition, a link between psychiatric problems (especially depression) and short sleep duration was observed one year later.

During sleep, processes occur that contribute to the reorganization of parts of the brain, which is especially important for children whose brains are developing and rebuilding rapidly.

Researchers have found a link between reduced sleep duration and decreased brain volume in areas such as:

prefrontal cortex (responsible for planning, forecasting, goal setting, social "control"),

  • orbitofrontal cortex (decision making),
  • temporal lobe (perception and processing of auditory information),
  • precuneus (formation of a feeling of happiness),
  • supra-marginal gyrus (literacy, renewal of working memory, learning ability, sensory perception).

Children who slept less than 7 hours had an average of 53% higher scores for behavioral problems on a special scale and a 7.8% lower overall cognitive function score compared to children whose sleep lasted 9-11 hours.

“We found important links between sleep duration in children, brain structure, and cognitive and mental health. But further research is needed to figure out the root causes of this relationship,”summed up Edmund Rolls, co-author of the study.

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