How does sleep affect attention and learning?
Good sleep is critical for helping little ones maintain their attention and focus throughout the day, and for helping children to regulate their emotions and their behavior. For little ones, who are just starting to learn how to control their behavior and pay attention in preschool or other settings, poor quality sleep or too little sleep can negatively impact some early learning skills and being ready to start school. A recent study found that when preschoolers didn’t get enough sleep, they had a harder time regulating their emotions and problem-solving. Many studies of older children also show a link between poor sleep and impaired attention and learning. For instance, research shows that children who need to repeat kindergarten are more likely to have sleep problems than their peers who are ready to successfully transition to first grade. Older children and adolescents who don’t get enough sleep also tend to have worse classroom behavior, decreased ability to pay attention at school, and poorer academic achievement.About Dr. Ariel Williamson