Twenty-Seven minutes of extra sleep doesn't sound like it would make much of a difference in a child's behavior, but according to a new study it could help a child be more productive and brighter.
Researchers discovered that kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour's worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood.
Small changes in bedtime and daily routine could go a long way says researcher Reut Gruber, PhD. She is an assistant professor of psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Conversely, one more video game and staying a little longer in a friend's house ... could add up and have a negative impact on the daytime functioning of healthy children.
The small study included 34 children aged seven to eleven who had no sleep, medical, behavior or academic problems. The children were divided into two groups. One group went to bed an hour earlier than their normal bedtime and the other group, an hour later for one week. To monitor their activity and sleep, the children wore a wristwatch-like device.
According to the study, kids who got 27.36 minutes more sleep per night showed improvements, while those who got less than that did not.
Besides being a very exact number, does 27.36 minutes really make a difference?
In daily life, if you think of the impact of short power naps, usually about 15 to 20 minutes during the day, you can see that this amount of sleep can have a significant positive impact on mood, attention, and well-being, says Gruber.
The children who were allowed to sleep more were found to be more alert, better behaved and more empathetic. Those with less sleep were determined to be less alert.
The children's teachers were asked to fill out behavioral assessments. The teachers had no idea there was an expe