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开学了 给孩子一个好睡眠
Kids and sleep: they need more
[ 2007-09-12 10:27 ]

Kids need more sleep

Now that school has started, many parents find themselves struggling to shift their kids back to a working routine. As they shave off time for TV and the Internet to make way for schoolwork, parents may want to add extra for that other big contributor to success at school: sleep. Recent research on kids has connected the importance of sleep not only to cognition, but to behavior and mood as well.

Some researchers theorize that the REM, or rapid eye movement, phase of sleep is when the brain produces and consolidates neural networks for memory and cognition. It's a kind of "formatting of the brain," says Ralph Downey, an expert of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University and Children's Hospital in Southern California and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Before the age of 6, a typical child will require between 12 and 13 hours of sleep per night, says Judith Owens, associate professor of pediatrics at Brown University and a noted expert on childhood sleep disorders. At age 6, 10 to 11 hours are needed. While the amount of sleep necessary drops once kids reach adolescence, Owens notes, "they still need at least nine hours under ideal circumstances."

What if they come up short? A sleep-deprived child's reaction is often different from the low energy and sleepiness experienced by adults. "Reducing the amount of hours a child sleeps manifests itself in the child becoming wired and hyperexcitable--exhibiting behavior similar to children with attention deficit disorder," says David Gozal, director of the pediatric sleep program at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Kids' emotions may become erratic, says Gozal, and they may be less apt to listen or pay attention. Researchers at the University of Montreal report that a study of young children showed that those who slept significantly fewer hours than the recommended 10 were more hyperactive and impulsive than those who got plenty of shuteye and scored lower on two cognitive skills tests.

"Our results indicate that a modest but chronic reduction of just one hour of sleep nightly in early childhood can affect the child's cognitive performance at school entry," says Dominique Petit, a sleep researcher and coauthor of the study. She thinks there's a critical period in early childhood when the lack of sleep is particularly detrimental to development, even if sleep habits improve later on.

But moving "lights out" earlier can be a big challenge. Mark Goetting, a sleep medicine specialist and medical director of the Sleep Health Center in Portage, Mich., offers some recommendations:

Create positive associations with going to bed. "Often, parents will say to a child, 'You can stay up as long as you're good,' or, 'If you don't do what I say, you're going to bed.' It's not healthy to associate going to bed with punishment," says Goetting. "Parents and children will begin to see bedtime as a power struggle." And, of course, both want to win.

Establish a wind-down period before bed. A routine (like reading stories) can let a child know that he's headed toward bedtime and can help him slow down.

Construct a bedroom environment that promotes sleep. "A bedroom should not be a terribly stimulating place," says Goetting. So move the televisions, bright lights, and toys.

When the kids sleep better, parents may notice a difference in their own quality of life, too. "Parents are definitely better rested themselves--their mood is better, they feel more alert--and are able to function better at home and at work," says Owens. "It really sends a positive ripple through the entire family."





孩子睡眠不足会怎样呢?孩子在睡眠不足时的反应往往不同于成年人(在缺觉情况下)感到的精力不足与困乏。肯塔基州路易斯维尔大学的儿童睡眠研究主任大卫•格扎尔说:“孩子在缺乏睡眠的情况下会变得很亢奋——他们此时的行为表现与多动症儿童类似。” 格扎尔说,(在睡眠不足的情况下),孩子的情绪会变得反复无常,他们往往不听话、注意力也不如平时集中。蒙特利尔大学的研究人员称,一项有关幼童的研究表明,睡眠时间严重低于专家建议的10个小时的儿童比睡眠充足的儿童更加亢奋与冲动,他们在两项认知能力测试中的得分也较低。










shave off : 剃去;除去

wired : very stimulated or excited(极其兴奋的)

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