Depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour and poor cognitive performance in children is affected by the amount of sleep they have, researchers from the University of Warwick have found. Sleep states are active processes that support reorganisation of brain circuitry. This makes sleep especially important for children, whose brains are developing and reorganizing 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.
Measures of depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour 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.