The Impact of Sleep Restriction on Typically Developing Children’s Attention

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Brine, Sarah
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Chronic sleep loss for children is a growing concern, yet few experimental studies have tested the impact of cumulative sleep restriction on cognitive functioning. The present study examined the impact of one hour less time in bed per night for 6 nights on attention in 27 typically developing children (6-12 years). Attention was assessed both objectively (CPT-II) and subjectively (questionnaires). Results showed significant differences in attention on the CPT-II, but not on subjective reports. Individual differences in daytime sleepiness and amount of sleep restriction were related to difference scores on the CPT-II. Changes in the attention as reported by teachers was related to changes in CPT-II commission errors (i.e., decreased impulsivity) and changes in child reported attention were related to changes in CPT-II reaction time. These results indicate that sleep restriction can affect children’s attention; however, these changes may be subtle and not captured by subjective measures.
Sleep , Sleep restriction , Sleep - children