Children with sleeping problems are more likely to develop psychological problems, such as depression, aggression and anxiety, according to a new study.
The study began by collecting data on sleeping behavior of 2,076 children, between ages 4-16 years. “Parents rated their children’s sleep and behaviors on various scales and children later reported their own emotional and behavioral symptoms at ages 18 to 32.”
The results showed that when parents reported their children as having trouble sleeping, the behavioral symptoms reported by the now adults were noticeably different than those whose parents had reported normal sleeping habits.
Most notably, “Children having parental reports of sleeping less than others had high scores on scales measuring anxiety, depression and aggressive behavior.”
This study stresses the importance of parents and pediatricians monitoring a child’s sleep behaviors and problems. The study states that “Physicians should inquire about sleep problems during child development and should be aware that some, but perhaps not others, may constitute risk indicators of later difficulties.”
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Gregory, Alice. JAMA press release. April 2008.