Too little sleep may jeopardize young kids’ development, study finds


For children in elementary school, regularly getting less than nine hours of sleep per night may hinder their neurocognitive development, according to a study led by University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers and published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

The study involved 8,323 children, ages 9 and 10, who were enrolled in a large, long-term study of brain development and children’s health. Comparing children who got the recommended amount of sleep for their age — nine to 12 hours a night — with those who slept less, the new research found differences in brain regions responsible for memory, intelligence and well-being. Greater mental health problems — such as depression, anxiety and impulsive behavior — were linked to insufficient sleep, as were difficulties with memory, problem-solving and decision-making.



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