Published Online: November 17, 2005

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Sleep-Deprived Children Face Academic Difficulties, Report Suggests

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Children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have academic troubles in school, a study suggests.

Psychologist Gahan Fallone conducted research at Brown Medical School in Providence, R.I., on 74 healthy, academically successful 6- to 12-year-olds over three weeks. During the first week, the children went to bed and woke up at their usual times; for the second week, they spent no fewer than 10 hours in bed a night. But during the third week, 1st and 2nd graders slept no more than eight hours and older children no more than 6½ hours per night.

Their teachers, who had no knowledge of how much sleep the children were getting, reported significantly more academic problems, including difficulty paying attention in class, during the week of sleep deprivation. The study was presented at an American Medical Association science writers meeting this month and was also published in the journal Sleep.

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