Children’s mental health could be affected by sleep duration
Researchers from the University of Warwick have found that depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour and poor cognitive performance in children is affected by the amount of sleep they have. Sleep states are active processes that support reorganisation of brain circuitry. This makes sleep especially important for children, whose brains are developing and reorganising rapidly.
In the paper ‘Sleep duration, brain structure, and psychiatric and cognitive problems in children’ published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, 11,000 children aged 9-11 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development dataset had the relationship between sleep duration and brain structure examined by researchers Professor Jianfeng Feng, Professor Edmund Rolls, Dr. Wei Cheng and colleagues from the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science and Fudan University. They found that measures of depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and poor cognitive performance in the children were associated with shorter sleep duration. Moreover, the depressive problems were associated with short sleep duration one year later. The results were found based on association studies, not causal studies. The lower brain volume of brain areas involved in the orbitofrontal cortex, prefrontal, and temporal cortex, precuneus, and supramarginal gyrus was found to be associated with the shorter sleep duration by using big data analysis approach.
(Content Courtesy: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/childrens_mental_health)