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Sleep Duration Affects Children’s Mental Health

Sleep Duration Affects Children's Mental Health 1

Summary: 

The risk of children developing anxiety, depression and mental problems are increased by shorter sleep duration.

Source: University of Warwick

Researchers in the University of Warwick found out that children’s mental health is affected by the amount of sleep they get. Shorter sleep duration can result in anxiety, depression and impulsive behaviour.

It is known that sleep states support the reorganisation of brain circuitry. This in itself makes sleep very necessary for children whose brains are still developing.

The paper ‘Sleep duration, brain structure, and psychiatric and cognitive problems in children.’ published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, scales of depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour and poor cognitive performance in children were associated with shorter sleep duration.

Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science comments:

“The recommended amount of sleep for children 6 to 12 years of age is 9-12 hours. However, sleep disturbances are common among children and adolescents around the world due to the increasing demand on their time from school, increased screen time use, and sports and social activities.

“Our findings showed that the behaviour problems for children with less than 7 hours sleep were 53% higher on average and the cognitive total score was 7.8% lower on average than for children with 9-11 hours of sleep.

It stresses the necessity of enough sleep in both cognition and mental health in children.”

 

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