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Why Children Should Have Healthy Sleep Habits

Why Children Should Have Healthy Sleep Habits

According to a study conducted by a consumer products giant in 2015, nearly 93% Indians are sleep-deprived. The changing lifestyle and intrusion of modern gadgets have further aggravated the situation. Lately, children have also been victims to this trend. According to a new research by Sandra Kooij from VU University's medical centre, Amsterdam, lack of regular circadian sleep may be the reason behind Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affecting 75 percent of children and adults.

Struggling to concentrate, having too much energy and being unable to control behaviour - the main manifestations of ADHD, could all be because your child doesn't sleep well. Ideally the amount of sleep recommended by pediatricians for children is anything between 8 to 10 hours. Also,uninterrupted, deep sleep contributes to good long-term physical health and emotional well-being.

Sleep deprivation among children has become such a worrying trend that to mark the importance of good sleep, World Sleep Day is being organized every March since 2008. This is mainly to encourage education, research and patient care throughout the world.

Kooij said, "There is extensive research showing that people with ADHD also tend to exhibit sleep problems. What we are doing here is taking this association to the next logical step: pulling all the work together leads us to say that, based on existing evidence, it looks very much like ADHD and circadian problems are intertwined in the majority of patients."

The researchers found that 75 percent of ADHD patients, the physiological sleep phase -- where people show the physiological signs associated with sleep, such as changes in the level of the sleep hormone melatonin, and changes in sleep-related movement - is delayed by 1.5 hours. Many sleep-related disorders are associated with ADHD, including restless-leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and the circadian rhythm disturbance, the delayed sleep phase syndrome.

Recent work has shown that around 70% of adult ADHD sufferers show an over-sensitivity of the eyes to light, leading many to wear sunglasses for long periods during the day - which may reinforce the problems associated with a 'circadian shift'.

Chronic late sleep leads to a chronic sleep debt, associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The research is presented at the ECNP Conference in Paris.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Also read: Encourage Children To Make Friends At School For Better Mental Health )

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

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