Less than nine hours of sleep affects children’s memory and mental health: study

Elementary school-age children who get less than nine hours of sleep per night have significant differences in certain areas of the brain responsible for memory, intelligence, and well-being compared to those who get nine to twelve hours of sleep per night. take New study. Such differences have been linked to more mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and impulsive behavior, in people with sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep was also associated with cognitive difficulties with memory, problem solving and decision making. The findings were published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) examined more than 8,300 children between the ages of nine and 10. They examined MRI images, medical records, and surveys completed by participants and their parents at enrollment and at a two-year follow-up visit at ages 11 to 12.

“We found that children who had insufficient sleep, less than nine hours per night, at the start of the study had less gray matter, or smaller volume, in certain areas of the brain that are involved in attention, attention, and sleep compared to healthy sleepers. were responsible for memory and prevention. habits,” said Xie Wang, professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at UMSOM.

“These differences persisted after two years, a finding that points to long-term harm for those who don’t get enough sleep,” Wang said.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health. To date, no studies have examined the long-term effects of insufficient sleep on preadolescent neurodevelopment.

The researchers suggest that parents make getting enough sleep in their children a family priority, stick to regular sleep routines, encourage physical activity during the day, limit screen time and cut off screens completely an hour before bedtime. Finish it.

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