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Manipulating Sleep Duration Alters Emotional Functioning and Cognitive Performance in Children

Thursay, Novemeber, 21st, 2013

Following a week of typical sleep, each of 32 children (8-12 years) was randomly assigned to go to bed 1 hr earlier for 4 nights (Long Sleep) or 1 hr later for 4 nights (Short Sleep) relative to their typical bedtime. Each child then completed the opposite condition. Results revealed impaired functioning in the Short-relative to the Long-Sleep condition on measures of positive affective response, emotion regulation, short-term memory, working memory, and aspects of attention.

According to Dr Levinson: Since sleep problems are common in children, affecting -25% of the population, and a number of reports suggest that children's total sleep duration has shown a steady decline over the past several decades, these results are crucial to consider when attempting to maximize our children's overall functioning and well being. Considering the high incidence of children with dyslexia or LD, ADHD, etc. and their compensatory need for extra concentration, memory and cognition as well as inhibitory control, their need for proper sleep regulation is absolutely vital. Indeed, inadequate sleep negatively impacts the severity of their symptoms as well as the prior efficacy of medication responses.

About Harold Levinson, M.D.

Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Great Neck, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. His "highly original" research into the cerebellar- vestibular (inner-ear) origins and treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Initially supported by Nobel Laureate Sir John Eccles and other outstanding cerebellar neurophysiologists and inner-ear experts, Levinson's research has more recently been independently validated worldwide by highly sophisticated neuroimaging brain studies.

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