Lack of sleep can make children hyperactive

CHILDREN who get too little sleep run an increased risk of becoming hyperactive, researchers say.

Scientists who studied 280 healthy children found a link between shortened sleep and attention deficit hyperactive disorder(ADHD).

Children whose average sleep duration was less than 7.7 hours a night scored higher in tests for ADHD than those who slept longer.

Scores for hyperactivity and impulsivity, both symptoms of ADHD, were also higher for light sleepers.

Dr Julia Paavonen, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, said: “We were able to show that short sleep duration and sleeping difficulties are related to behavioural symptoms of ADHD, and we also showed that short sleep, per se, increased behavioural symptoms, regardless of the presence of sleeping difficulties.

“The findings suggest that maintaining adequate sleep schedules among children is likely to be important in preventing behavioural symptoms. However, even though inadequate sleep seems to have the potential to impair behaviour and performance, intervention studies are needed to confirm the causality.”

It had previously been suggested that sleep deprivation in children may present itself in the form of behavioural symptoms rather than tiredness.


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