While healthy sleep is essential for alertness and other key functions related to academic success, research involving the impact of the amount of sleep on a child’s day-to-day behavior in school has been limited. An estimated 64% of school-aged children (ages 6 to 12) go to bed later than 9 p.m., and 43% of boys ages 10 to 11 sleep less than the recommended amount each night.

According to the authors of a recent study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, a modest addition of sleep each night — an average of 27 minutes among children ages 7 to 11 — resulted in significant improvement in their ability to regulate their emotions, including limiting restless-impulsive behavior in school.

Conversely, children who decreased their sleep by 54 minutes were associated with detectable deterioration of such measures. Study authors say these new findings support the importance of sleep among schoolage children, and the need for greater efforts to eliminate child sleep problems.

— Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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