To sleep, perchance to enrich learning?

Division of Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.9). 08/2007; 92(7):637-43. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2006.096156
Source: PubMed


There is evidence that sleep enhances memory and learning. Childhood is a critical period for neurodevelopment, and minor but persistent disruption of sleep may have long-term implications for cognitive performance. Sleep is critical for health and is undervalued both in our 24 h society and in paediatric clinical practice. Paediatricians need to understand the neurodevelopmental consequences of poor quality sleep in children.

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    • "In the afternoon, children have been awake and active for a long time. Elementary school children usually do not nap anymore (Hill et al., 2007; Iglowstein et al., 2003), so tiredness becomes more evident in the afternoon. These ideas are also in line with the differential effects between days with and without school. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Recent studies have suggested substantial fluctuations of cognitive performance in adults both across and within days, but very little is known about such fluctuations in children. Children's sleep behavior might have an important influence on their daily cognitive resources, but so far this has not been investigated in terms of naturally occurring within-person variations in children's everyday lives. Methods In an ambulatory assessment study, 110 elementary school children (8–11 years old) completed sleep items and working memory tasks on smartphones several times per day in school and at home for 4 weeks. Parents provided general information about the children and their sleep habits. Results We identified substantial fluctuations in the children's daily cognitive performance, self-reported nightly sleep quality, time in bed, and daytime tiredness. All three facets were predictive of performance fluctuations in children's school and daily life. Sleep quality and time in bed were predictive of performance in the morning, and afternoon performance was related to current tiredness. The children with a lower average performance level showed a higher within-person coupling between morning performance and sleep quality. Conclusions Our findings contribute important insights regarding a potential source of performance fluctuations in children. The effect of varying cognitive resources should be investigated further because it might impact children's daily social, emotional, and learning-related functioning. Theories about children's cognitive and educational development should consider fluctuations on micro-longitudinal scales (e.g., day-to-day) to identify possible mechanisms behind long-term changes.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 07/2014; 56(2). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12296 · 6.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Sleep has developmental importance for cortical plasticity and memory consolidation [9]. Experimental sleep restriction in school children has a direct effect on teacher-rated academic performance and children's attention [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric epilepsy has been reported to be associated with both sleep problems and cognitive deficits. In turn, in healthy children, poorer sleep has been associated with deficits in cognitive functioning. We hypothesized that poor sleep in childhood epilepsy may contribute to cognitive deficits. Using actigraphy, we objectively measured the sleep of children with epilepsy alongside that of healthy controls. In contrast to previous reports, we did not find any differences in objectively measured sleep between children with epilepsy and healthy controls. However, significant deficits in cognitive functioning were demonstrated that were not explained by differences in sleep.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 06/2014; 37C:20-25. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.05.022 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Newborns and infants spend most of their time sleeping (Heraghty et al., 2008). At this age, sleep is a period of cardiorespiratory instability and vulnerability to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (Blair et al., 2006b); however, sleep is crucial for normal neurological development (Hill et al., 2007). From one viewpoint, despite significant advances in perinatal care, preterm infants remain at high risk of impaired neurological outcome. "
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    ABSTRACT: Preterm newborns are at high risk of neurological injury. In this population, we investigated the link between neurological complications and sleep architecture. At term-corrected gestational age, we studied retrospectively the polysomnography of 45 preterm infants born at < 28 weeks or weighting < 1 kg. These infants were followed-up by a neuropaediatrician (median age at last follow-up 50.4 months). Two groups of children were constituted: a group without neurological disorder and a second group with at least one of the following: cerebral palsy, language or mental retardation, visual or hearing disability or attention disorder. A Multiple Indicators and Multiple Causes model assessed the relationship between the neurological outcome and two sleep components: spontaneous arousability [number of awakenings and movements per hour of quiet sleep (QS) and active sleep] and QS characteristics (median duration of QS cycles and percentage of QS over total sleep time). Twenty-six infants had an impaired neurological outcome. There were no statistical differences between the two groups regarding clinical characteristics. Compared to preterm neonates with normal neurological outcome, those with impaired outcomes had a lower spontaneous arousability; i.e. 0.7 (0.5–1) times less awakenings and movements per hour of QS and 0.9 (0.8–1) times less per hour of active sleep than infants with normal outcomes (P = 0.05). The differences in QS characteristics did not reach statistical significance. These findings suggested that, in preterm infants, perinatal neurological injuries could be associated with an abnormal sleep architecture characterized by altered spontaneous arousability.
    Journal of Sleep Research 10/2012; 21(5):552-60. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.01004.x · 3.35 Impact Factor
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