Insufficient Sleep Harms Children’s Mental Health
In a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Candice Alfano, University of Houston professor of psychology and director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston, reports the results from an innovative, experimental study showing inadequate nighttime sleep alters several aspects of children’s emotional health.
Although plenty of correlational research links inadequate sleep with poor emotional health, experimental studies in children are rare. Alfano and her team studied 53 children ages 7-11 over more than a week. The children completed an in-lab emotional assessment twice, once after a night of healthy sleep and again after two nights where their sleep was restricted by several hours.