Child behavior linked to sleep

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In recent decades the average sleep time for youngsters has steadily decreased. It is estimated that currently one-third of American children do not get enough sleep. Increases in child sleep deprivation are relevant in a discussion of ADHD symptoms; for a long time sleep deprivation has been associated with symptoms of hyperactivity and ADHD; however, there has been little in the way of objective evidence to confirm this theory. However, a study published in the May issue of Pediatrics provides new evidence in the link between sleep-deprivation and child ADHD symptoms. According to E. Juulia Paavonen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Helsinki in Finland, children who slept less had significantly higher hyperactivity, impulsivity, and a variety of other ADHD symptoms. Authors of the study, commenting on the findings, stated, “Maintaining adequate sleep schedules among children is likely to be important in preventing behavioral symptoms,” however, “…short sleep duration does not always indicate sleep debt, because sleep need varies between individuals.” Click here read an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution that discusses this study more.

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