Kids, Sleep, and Brain Development

New research from the Boston Children’s Hospital analyzed the sleeping patterns of nine to eleven year old children in an effort to see the effect of inadequate sleep on brain development. This period of life, known as early adolescence, is a critical time in a child’s brain development. The researchers looked at sleep duration, the time it typically takes a child to fall asleep, how often a child wakes up from sleep, difficulty falling back to sleep, breathing difficulty, snoring, nightmares, and more. The research found that kids who have a shorter sleep duration, a more difficult time falling asleep, frequent waking, and sleep-disordered breathing had brain networks that were less efficient, flexible, and resilient. As parents entrusted by God with the stewardship of our children’s growth and development, we need to be sure our kids are getting the proper amount of sleep. Monitor your child’s sleep, and if there are difficulties, seek medical help. God has made us to require the gift of rest.