June 10, 2008, at 12:01 a.m.
Kathleen McCann
(708) 492-0930, ext. 9316
WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Children who consistently get enough sleep benefit in their performance on an auditory attention task, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Tuesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
The study, authored by Christine N. Osborne, of the University of Louisville, focused on 29 children between four and eight years of age, who underwent a one-night polysomnographic screening to rule out pre-existing sleep abnormalities. Subsequently, all children maintained their normal sleep schedule for one week. Children with the least variability in sleep time were assigned to one group while those with the most variability were placed in a second group for analysis purposes. During an auditory oddball paradigm task, children were asked to attend to frequently and infrequently occurring tones.
According to the results, the brain responses recorded over the frontal and parietal lobes of children with low sleep variability were better able to discriminate between frequent and infrequent tones.
“Little research has investigated the role of consistent sleep/wake cycles in children,” said Osborne. “The results of this study suggest a difference in brain organization for those children who get a consistent amount of sleep during a week compared to those who fluctuate in the amount of sleep they receive.”
It is recommended that children in pre-school get between 11-13 hours of nightly sleep and school-aged children between 10-11 hours.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers some tips to help your child sleep better:
  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep each night.
  • Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
  • Interact with your child at bedtime. Don’t let the TV, computer or video games take your place.
  • Keep your children from TV programs, movies, and video games that are not right for their age.
  • Do not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle, or while nursing.
  • At bedtime, do not allow your child to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate and sodas. Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime. This includes cough medicines and decongestants.
It is important to make sure that your child gets enough sleep and sleeps well. The value of sleep can be measured by your child’s smiling face, happy nature and natural energy. A tired child may have development or behavior problems. A child’s sleep problems can also cause unnecessary stress for you and the other members of your family.
Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their child’s pediatrician or a sleep specialist.
More information about “children and sleep” is available from the AASM at https://www.SleepEducation.com/Topic.aspx?id=8.
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.
More than 1,150 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society. The three-and-a-half-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
SleepEducation.com, a patient education Web site created by the AASM, provides information about various sleep disorders, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep facilities.
Abstract Title: Consistent Sleep Aids Children’s Performance on Auditory Attention Task
Presentation Date: Tuesday, June 10
Category: Neuroscience
Abstract ID: 0058


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