To sleep, perchance to enrich learning?

Division of Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.91). 08/2007; 92(7):637-43. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2006.096156
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    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 · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    Human Development 01/2012; 56(1). DOI:10.1159/000345541 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter examines neurodevelopmental disabilities from a static versus dynamic viewpoint, at the level of genes, brain, cognition, and behavior. The notion of domain-relevant processes is offered to replace that of domain-specific and domain-general processes, illustrated by a discussion of the FOXP2 gene across different species, as well as of the domain of number in human cognitive development. Static versus dynamic approaches to neurodevelopmental disabilities are contrasted. A cross-syndrome comparison between infants with Williams syndrome (WS) and those with Down syndrome (DS) seems to result in a neat double dissociation, but a more dynamic developmental analysis shows the data to be far more complex and the result of cascading effects over ontogenetic time. Some novel ideas are presented about the implications for intervention of the dynamic approach to neurodevelopmental disabilities. The chapter concludes with challenges to current evolutionary assumptions about what is prespecified in the human case.
    International Review of Research on Developmental Disabilities, Volume 40, 01/2011: chapter Static snapshots versus dynamic approaches to genes, brain, cognition and behaviour in neurodevelopmental disabilities;

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Jun 3, 2014