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What does lack of sleep do for development?

September 29, 2022


What does lack of sleep do for development? (NO Title)

Sleep is important for people of all ages, but it is well known that children need more sleep than adults on average. What happens when kids aren’t getting the sleep they need? 

the effects on Academic development

The Sleep Foundation highlights that children who don’t get enough sleep often experience challenges in the classroom. There is a long list of concerns that include:

  • Decreased attention span
  • Impaired creativity
  • Worsened sequential thinking
  • Impaired memory
  • Slowed mental processing

There are also behavioral issues that will affect them in the classroom, like aggression, daytime sleepiness, and poor decision-making. 

Physical issues 

Sleep has an important effect on children’s physical development. Scientists have made connections between lack of sleep in children and a variety of issues, including allergies and weakened immune systems. There is also a higher risk of cardiovascular disorders in the form of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

Psychiatric issues

In a new study reported on by Neuroscience News, children with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome had their sleep examined. “DiGeorge syndrome, more accurately known by a broader term — 22q11. 2 deletion syndrome — is a disorder caused when a small part of chromosome 22 is missing. This deletion results in the poor development of several body systems.”(Mayo Clinic) People with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome have a higher risk for ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and epileptic seizures. It is also one of the largest biological factors for schizophrenia. 

In the study of their sleep, children with 22q11.2DS have vastly different “sleep architecture” than their siblings without 22q11.2DS. Scientists think that the psychological issues these children present can have more to do with the lack of sleep they’re getting. 

This connection between sleep and mental health issues is not a new one. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that children who do not get enough sleep may experience mood changes, anxiety, or issues like ADHD. 

How to help kids get more sleep

There is so much competition for kids’ attention. Some helpful tips that NBC highlights include: 

  • Create the right environment- make sure their bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. 
  • Set a curfew for electronics
  • Make sure a consistent nighttime routine is followed
  • Lead by example and be a good sleep advocate
  • Monitor your child’s sleep patterns. 

Monitoring your child’s sleep patterns can mean wearing a simple sleep tracker, sleeping in the same room, or watching your child sleep. You are looking for snoring and moments of sudden breath intakes. These could be signs of a deeper sleep issue. If you are concerned about your child’s sleep, it could be time to talk to your pediatrician or request a sleep study. 

If you want to speak to a network of sleep professionals to help you get a diagnosis, visit https://advancedhomecareonline.com/sleep-studies/

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