Sleepy Kids Make Cranky Classmates Show Notes

Thursday, October 25, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Sleepy kids make cranky classmates, while students who get plenty of sleep are better behaved. That’s according to a new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.

CNN health reports that researchers wanted to find out if the behavior of elementary school children was affected by how much sleep they got.

With the permission of parents, they followed 34 students between the ages of 7 and11. These were healthy kids who didn't have sleep problems or behavior or academic issues.

During one week of school, half the students were put to bed earlier than normal, averaging about 27 minutes more sleep a night. The other half stayed up later than their routine bedtime, losing about 54 minutes of shut-eye each evening.

The kids' teachers - who didn't know the sleep status of the students - reported significant differences in how the children behaved and coped with everyday challenges.

Students who were sleep-deprived not only seemed overly tired, but were more impulsive and irritable than their well-rested classmates. They were quick to cry, lose their tempers or get frustrated.

The children who got plenty of sleep had a better handle on their emotions and were more alert in class.

Sleep experts say these results make sense and provide more evidence about the importance of sleep.

By the way, children in elementary school generally need between 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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