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Child sleep problems associated with impaired academic and psychosocial functioning

Irrespective of whether children have sleep problems since birth or not a new study by researchers at Children s Hospital of Philadelphia CHOP has found that sleep disturbances at any age are associated with diminished well being by the time the children are 10 or 11 years old To assess child well being which included psychosocial measures like self control and emotional behavioral health and academic performance measures the researchers used a combination of reports from caregivers and teachers as well as child completed assessments Using those with no sleep problems as a benchmark the researchers found that children with persistent sleep problems had the greatest impairments across all outcomes except in their perceptual reasoning skills Children with increased middle childhood sleep problems also experienced greater psychosocial problems and worse quality of life but did not score lower on academic achievement While the researchers found impairments related to all of the sleep problem trajectories they note the possibility that for certain trajectories the relationship could be bidirectional that is psychosocial issues like anxiety could lead to sleep issues and vice versa particularly in children who develop sleep problems later in childhood

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