Having a tough time getting the kids to sleep? Researchers have recently discovered that the long term affects of sleep deprivation could be a lot worse than a few extra grey hairs. Your child’s future could hang in the balance.
Researchers at Boston College recently surveyed 900,000 students and teachers in 50 countries. The results, reported by Time Magazine and the BBC, show that U.S. students rank worst in the world when it comes to sleep affecting academic performance. When poor sleep habits are present, U.S. students suffer more than other students around the world, particularly in math and science. Some age categories suffer at rates of 73% – 80% or up to 55% higher than the world average.
Below are the best and worst countries:
- Saudi Arabia
- New Zealand
- United States
Poor sleep habits in children have been connected to a few sources including poor diet, sugar and technology. The addictive qualities of games and other media is hard to break away from. In addition, the bright light influences light sensitive cells in the retinas of their eyes, throwing off their internal clock. When this happens, their brain thinks it’s daytime, promoting alertness and preventing them from winding down.
All hope is not lost, however. If you can get the kids sleeping seven to nine hours per night, their academic future looks every bit as bright as it did before. Pay extra attention to the types of food your child is eating as well as the times that they are eating. Turn off the electronics (including TV) at least one hour before bed, allowing for dim light leading up to bed and absolute darkness (if possible) for sleep.
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