All over the world, children sleep one hour less than they did 30 years ago including because of the study of go math grade 4. The price of this is weakening of the intellect, deterioration of the emotional state, attention deficit, hyperactivity and obesity. What happens to a child in a dream – to his brain, hormonal levels and other body systems? Why is sleep deprivation bad for adults but destructive for children? Review of American Sleep Research.
According to surveys by the National Sleep Foundation, 90% of American parents believe their child sleeps long enough. Children themselves say differently: 60% of high school students report severe daytime sleepiness, and 20 to 33% of students fall asleep in class at least once a week.
Statistics confirm that most children are constantly sleep deprived including because of the study of 5th grade go math. Half of all teenagers sleep less than 7 hours on weekdays. High school students sleep a little over 6.5 hours on average. Only 5% of high school students sleep 8 hours a day.
Undoubtedly, we also got tired when we went to school. But not like our children. Today’s children — from elementary grades to high school — sleep an hour less every night than they did 30 years ago. Even kindergarteners sleep 30 minutes less than they used to. Parents are very worried about the sleep of babies, but the sleep of schoolchildren does not cause such anxiety. There are many reasons for reducing the duration of sleep: all kinds of overload, lack of mode, TV, etc.
Alas, we ignore the wasted hour because we never really knew its true value for children. But here’s what sleep scientists have to say: Children’s brains develop until the age of 21, and most of this work happens while the baby is asleep. Many of the common problems in adolescence and 6th grade go math are actually signs of chronic sleep deprivation.
The most surprising thing, however, is not this. Poor sleep appears to be linked to phenomena such as an obesity pandemic, impaired attention and hyperactivity. Some scientists believe that sleep problems during the formation of a child can cause permanent changes in the structure of his brain – damage that cannot be eliminated simply by getting enough sleep. It is possible that many of the common problems of adolescence – moodiness, depression, and lack of restraint – are actually signs of chronic sleep deprivation.
Lack of night sleep and assessment
Dr. Avi Seidh of Tel Aviv University – one of a dozen or so internationally renowned sleep scientists – studied the sleep of 77 4th graders and 6th graders a couple of years ago. Within three days, half of the children had to go to bed early, the other half later. Using an activity recorder – a device that can tell when you actually sleep – Seidh’s team found that children in the first group slept 30 minutes more at night, and the second group slept 31 minutes less. After the third night, the researcher conducted a neurobiological test to determine the current performance results of the student and teacher, as well as how teachers will assess the child’s ability to concentrate.
The difference in test performance caused by the loss of an hour of sleep was greater than the difference between a normal 4th grader and a 6th grader. To put it simply, a slightly sleepy sixth grader will work like a fourth grader in class.
Dr. Mary Karskadon, specialist in biological systems that regulate sleep:
– Almost all babies are allowed to go to bed later on weekends. They get enough sleep – they simply shift sleep to a later time on Friday and Saturday nights. However, Dr. Monique LeBourgeois found that changing the time of going to bed affects the performance of a standard IQ test. Every hour of sleep drift on weekends costs the child 7 points on the test. Dr. Paul Seratt of the University of Virginia assessed the impact of sleep problems on the vocabulary grades received by primary school children. He also found that the marks were down 7 points.
The correlation between sleep duration and school grades is especially pronounced in high school, because it is at this time that the duration of children’s sleep is sharply reduced. Dr. Kayla Walström of the University of Minnesota studied more than 7,000 high school students, comparing their sleep habits and grades. Excellent students sleep about 15 minutes more than good students, and those, in turn, sleep 15 minutes more than C grade students, etc. Walström’s data is almost entirely consistent with the results of an earlier study of more than 3,000 high school students in Rhode Island by Karskadon. Of course, these values are averaged, but the agreement between the results of these two studies is impressive. Even 15 minutes of sleep counts!
How are sleep and memory in a child related?
Research has shown how lack of sleep affects a child’s brain. For example, tired children cannot remember what they have just learned, because neurons lose their plasticity and become unable to form new synaptic connections necessary for memorization.
Inattention can be caused by various reasons. Sleep deprivation depletes the body’s ability to extract glucose from the bloodstream. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the so-called “executive functions”, suffers the most from this. These include managing thinking so that it can lead to a goal, predicting results, and perceiving the consequences of actions taken. Thus, fatigued people find it difficult to control their impulses, so abstract goals, such as studying, recede into the background when compared to more recreational pursuits. A tired brain gets stuck on a wrong answer and cannot come up with a more creative solution, repeatedly returning to the same wrong answer.
In recent years, scientists have figured out what the brain does when a baby sleeps. During this time, the brain moves what it has learned during the day into more efficient storage, according to Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of Berkeley. Each stage of sleep plays its own role in retaining memories.
Here’s an example: when learning a foreign language, you need to memorize words, activate auditory memory to memorize new sounds and motor memory in order to correctly write a new word. The vocabulary is synthesized by the hippocampus at the beginning of the night during “slow wave sleep” – deep dreamless rest. Motor pronunciation skills are processed during the second stage of non-REM sleep, and auditory memories are encoded in any of the stages of sleep. Emotional memories are processed during REM sleep. The more you learn during the day, the more you need to sleep that night.
Children’s sleep is qualitatively different from that of adults, because children spend more than 40% of their sleep in the slow wave stage (10 times more than adults). This is why a good night’s sleep is so important for long-term memorization of words, historical dates and other facts.
“This is an extremely dangerous situation,” says Walker, “because the intensity of children’s learning increases dramatically and the amount of sleep required to process the information received decreases. If these linear trends continue, an explosion will soon follow.
Impact of lack of sleep on adolescent weight
Now let’s talk about the role that sleep deficit plays in the obesity epidemic.
Over the past 30 years, there have been three times more obese children, half of all children are at risk of gaining excess weight – and this is just two steps away from obesity. The government spends more than $ 1 billion a year on nutrition education programs in schools. According to scientists from McMaster University, out of 57 such programs, only 4 showed good results …
For a long time, television was considered the main evil. Instead of running around like we did when we were young, our kids sit in front of this box for an average of 3.3 hours a day. The link with obesity seemed so obvious that few doubted the validity of this point of view.
– It was like religion – believe it, and that’s it! Chuckles Dr. Elizabeth Vandewater of the University of Texas at Austin. – But this is not a scientific approach.
After analyzing data on 8,000 families studied since 1968, Vandewater found that obese children do not watch TV any more than their slimmer peers. There was no statistical correlation between obesity and television.
Vandewater looked at the children’s diaries from the time and realized what was wrong with earlier studies. Children do not change physical activity for sitting in front of a screen.
– Children change functionally equivalent items. If TV is banned, they will not go to play football, but will engage in some other sedentary form of entertainment, she said.
In fact, while obesity has grown exponentially since the 1970s, children only watch 7 more minutes of television per day. On average, they now add half an hour of video games and surfing the Internet, but the sharp increase in obesity began in the 1980s – long before the widespread adoption of home video games and the invention of the web browser. This, of course, does not mean that sitting in front of the TV is good for the waist. But this means that children are fattened by something else, not television.
Five years ago, Dr. Eva Van Koter discovered a “neuroendocrine cascade” that links sleep to obesity. Sleep loss increases the production of the hormone ghrelin, which signals hunger and decreases its metabolic antipode, leptin, an appetite suppressant. Sleep loss also increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the production of fat in the body. In addition, human growth hormone is destroyed. Growth hormone is normally released in one large release at the beginning of sleep and is very important for the breakdown of fat.
Children who sleep less are more likely to be obese than children who sleep more. Children who sleep less than 8 hours are about three times more likely to be obese than those who sleep 10 hours.
A study of Houston schoolchildren has shown that it’s not just young children who become obese. Among middle and high school students, the chances of becoming obese increase by 80% for every hour of sleep they lose.
Van Coter has found that slow-wave sleep is especially important for proper insulin production and glucose tolerance. When she allowed the subjects to fall asleep, but immediately woke them up with a slight knock of the door, loud enough to prevent them from reaching the phase of slow-wave sleep (without actually waking the subjects), their hormone production increased, in almost the same way as in the case of an increase in weight by 8– 12 kg. As already mentioned, more than 40% of children’s sleep time is in the slow wave phase, while adults spend only about 4% of the night in this stage. This may explain why the relationship between sleep deficit and obesity is much stronger in children than in adults.
Bring the children back to sleep
Dr. Judith Owens runs the Brown University Sleep Clinic in Providence. Recently, a 15-year-old girl came to see her complaining of severe headaches. Alas, the girl’s daily routine was simply exhausting: after playing the flute, playing the bassoon, dancing and doing homework, she could only sleep 5 hours, after which she got up every morning at 4:30 and went to gymnastics. Owens recommended shortening the list of activities.
The girl’s father doubted and demanded evidence from Owens. Surely he knew sleep was important, but was it more important than French? Or getting into a good college?
Owens tried a standard argument:
– Would you let your daughter go in the car without wearing your seatbelt? Sleep is the same seat belt.
But for the father, it was the other way around: the cut in the schedule of activities put his daughter in danger. What if she quits one of her hobbies and the headaches persist?
Parents, who are supposed to be advocates of their children’s sleep, cut back on their rest time. This is especially true for the last hour of a child’s day – let’s call it the lubricating hour. This is the time when it’s time to sleep, but we see it as a “lubricant fund” of potential time, a kind of piggy bank from which we pull out 10 minutes. Children need to be in bed during the lubrication hour, but there are many other important things that take time.
We regard sleep not as a physical need, but as a weakness of character. It is considered a sign of weakness to admit being tired, and a sign of strength is the ability to cope with the urge to take a nap. Sleep is for wimps.
Or maybe we do not see what we lose, deprived of sleep? Dr. David Dinges of Pennsylvania State University conducted an experiment that reduced adults’ nighttime sleep to 6 hours. Two weeks later, they reported that they were all right. However, tests showed that this regimen hurt them as much as 24-hour wakefulness.
We’ve dealt with years of sleep deprivation and got away with it. We are even accustomed to this regime. But when it comes to the development of a child’s brain, do we want him to do the same?