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A little extra sleep could improve kids school success study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Tuesday 16th October 2012

Twenty-seven minutes of extra sleep could be the difference between a child’s success and failure at school, according to the findings of a new study. This is the average amount that the researchers at the Attention Behaviour and Sleep Lab at the Douglas Research Center in Quebec found kids need to be more alert and focused in school.

The study consisted of 34 children that had no behavioural, medical or academic issues, between the ages of 7 and 11. These children were divided randomly into two groups – one group had one hour sleep added and the other had one hour taken away. The children were watched and measured in their schools at the start of the study and after five nights of changed sleep. Their teachers reported their behaviours using the Conner’s Global Index — a 10-item evaluation that determines the severity of a problem.

The results showed that the children had about 54 minutes decreased sleep showed obvious signs of daytime sleepiness and spontaneous behaviour. The complete opposite happened to the children who got as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep.

The study proves that sleep problems obstruct the ability of students to succeed in school. Lack of sleep disrupts their ability to concentrate for long periods of time and what they learn in class. Children who get less sleep are also more likely to have difficulty with verbal creativity, problem-solving and generally score lower at IQ tests. 

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