Lack of sleep ups mental health issues in children

Is your child getting enough sleep? If not, read this carefully. Researchers have found that children who get the least sleep have the greatest risk of developing mental health issues. “If we make sure our children get enough sleep, it can help protect them from mental health problems,” said study researcher Bror M Ranum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) in the Norway.

A study of almost 800 children followed over several years shows that those who get the fewest hours of sleep are at greatest risk of developing psychiatric difficulties later, including ADHD, anxiety and depression. “We’re seeing an association between sleep duration and a risk of symptoms of emotional and behavioural disorders,” Ranum added.

According to the findings, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, boys who sleep fewer hours have an increased risk of developing behavioural issues. Both girls and boys who get less sleep are at greater risk for future emotional problems. The measurements do not indicate anything about the quality of sleep.

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