Sleep, the Brain and Behavior

» Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Research | 0 comments

Join us Wednesday, November 28 for “Coffee and Conversation” on sleep with Dr. Karen Cseak and nurse Susan Moss.  This is a hot topic this fall thanks to two new studies from October of 2012 citing the affects of sleep on both child and adult brain function and behavior.

The latest study, published in Pediatrics mid October of this year noted that:

“A modest extension in sleep duration was associated with significant improvement in alertness and emotional regulation, whereas a modest sleep restriction had opposite effects.”

This study reinforces previous studies such as this one, which produced this chart about sleep and it’s relation to behavior problems in school age children:

 

Or this British study from 2 years back showing that sleep patterns of infants had a significant affect on learning in school age children – noting that “for every year that the child had a behavioral sleep problem, the likelihood of his having a special educational need at age 8 was increased by 7%.”

In adults, the relation between sleep and brain function persists. This study, also from October of this year, found that sleep deprivation impairs “communication between the hippocampus, which is vital for memory, and the brain’s ‘default mode network;’ the changes may weaken event recollection.”  It also found a relation between lack of sleep and disrupted functioning of brain regions associated with memory impairment and Alzheimer’s.

If your child needs a better night sleep, check out http://www.sleepfoundation.org/ for bedroom optimization tips and other recommendations.

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