Are children’s reading ability affected by their sleep?

New research published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology suggests that sleep problems can negatively affect children’s reading ability.

In the study which included 339 children aged four to 14, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their children’s sleep, while children completed a word reading efficiency test.

Children whose parents reported increased sleep breathing disturbances, daytime sleepiness, and a short time to fall asleep (which is usually associated with increased fatigue) performed poorer on word reading tasks and non-words.

“Being a good reader is a good predictor of academic success and improved life outcomes, so we recommend screening children with sleep problems for reading difficulties and children with reading difficulties for sleep problems, ”said corresponding author Anna Joyce, PhD, MSc, from Regent’s University in London. “Screening for and treating sleep and literacy disorders at an early age could help improve life outcomes for all children. “

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