Do you want to raise successful children? Neuroscience says it teaches them this crucial brain habit


I’m so tired right now. Maybe you can understand. I am a parent of a young child, so sometimes it seems normal.

It also means that I’m going to do my best right now to explain everything you want to know about a brand new brain study regarding children and sleep, and to say it quickly, efficiently and effectively.

I mean, if you’ve read this in depth, I’m guessing you’re probably a sleep-deprived parent, too. And like me, you’re interested in your own success, but you probably also spend a lot of time thinking about what’s best for your kids.

Here is the summary of the study:

Researchers at the University of Maryland studied data on 8,300 children aged 9 to 10, focusing on how much sleep they got each night and what that meant for their success in older years. late.

Conclusion from the start, according to their results: Teach your children not to tire themselves as much as you do.

It’s not just a matter of bad moods or short-term health. Instead, as the researchers found, children who slept less than they should at a fairly young age had significant brain differences in physiological and cognitive markers in later years.

As study co-author Ze Wang, PhD, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Explain:

“We found that children who had insufficient sleep, less than nine hours a night, at the start of the study had less gray matter or smaller volume in certain areas of the brain responsible for attention, memory and inhibition control compared to those with healthy sleep habits.

These differences persisted after two years, a disturbing finding that suggests long-term harm for those who don’t get enough sleep.”

Are there three words more terrifying and inspiring to a parent than “long-term harm?”

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Lancet Child and adolescent health.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep on a regular basis. And while some kids do it without difficulty, parents and kids know that others don’t get that amount.

Either way, this isn’t really an article about parent-shaming, or about moms and dads taking their toddlers and students to late-night movies and concerts. (However, don’t do that.)

Instead, it’s about habits and science.

Fortunately, some of the external societal sleep issues you may have faced at an earlier age are getting a little less challenging.

In other words, we all learn – through science.

Look, I admit I’m part of the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd when it comes to sleep hygiene. But I hope I can pass on better habits to the next generation, and I suspect you can too.

Because, really, this study combines the topics of two of my most popular free ebooks: How to Raise Successful Children (7th Edition)and The Free Neuroscience Book: 13 Ways to Understand and Train Your Brain for Life.

“Sleep can often be neglected during busy childhood days filled with homework and extracurricular activities,” said co-author E. Albert Reece. “Now we see how detrimental this can be to a child’s development.”

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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