NASET News Alert

Poor Sleep in Early Childhood May Lead to Cognitive, Behavioral Problems in Later Years

March 23, 2017

A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital pediatrician finds that children ages 3 to 7 who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships in mid-childhood. Reported online in the journal Academic Pediatrics, the study found significant differences in the responses of parents and teachers to surveys regarding executive function -- which includes attention, working memory, reasoning and problem solving -- and behavioral problems in 7-year-old children depending on how much sleep they regularly received at younger ages. "We found that children who get an insufficient amount of sleep in their preschool and early school-age years have a higher risk of poor neurobehavioral function at around age 7," says Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, chief of General Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children , who led the study. "The associations between insufficient sleep and poorer functioning persisted even after adjusting for several factors that could influence the relationship." Read More

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