Published: 08/12/2012 - Updated: 07/25/2016
Sleep deprivation in children was associated with memory, learning and intellectual level, new studies revealed that a child who does not take naps daily may be prone to low levels of joy, interest and ability to solve problems.
A research by the University of Colorado in the United States says that without the daily siesta, a child may affect normal brain development, exposing themselves to risk of mood and emotional problems.
The test was to evaluate a group of infants between 30 and 36 months while playing puzzles with pictures of two types, one with solution and other without it.
The first test was made after a normal nap of 90 minutes, and on another day, they were deprived from their nap routine.
Lack of Joy
The results showed that the second day, without taking a nap, infants showed a decrease of 34% of positive emotional expressions when they finished assembling the puzzle (with solution). Also they increased by 31% negative emotional responses failuring to complete the puzzle without solution and a 39% reduction in the expression of confusion when trying to end this type of puzzle (no solution).
The confusion, say the experts, is a positive result, i.e., it is normally when a child knows something goes wrong, he/she acts confused and asks for help from others, also it is an indicator that they are involved in their world.
That is why the completion of the investigation recommended that parents shouldn’t deprive the kids moments of nap, which are necessary for optimal development, not only physical but also neurological.
Hyperactivity and obesity
But those are not all the consequences of sleep deprivation, according to another study by the University of Montreall in Canada, children who don’t sleep enough hours could be prone to overweight and hyperactivity.
According to experts, the relationship between sleep and weight could be explained by changes in hormone secretions caused by lack of sleep.
They explain that when we sleep less, we produce more ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. This hormone is produced by endocrine epithelial cells from a part of your stomach called fundus.
The lack of sleep also produces lower production of leptin, a hormone produced mainly by adipocytes (fat cells of the body). Leptin provides information about cellular metabolism, and its function is to decrease food intake.
With respect to hyperactivity, 22% of children who slept less than 10 hours, at the age of two and a half, were hyperactive at age six. This percentage is twice higher than the rate observed among children who slept 10 or 11 hours a night, at the same age.