“Children who slept longer were generally better at cognitive and mental health than those who slept less long. Recently, Feng Jianfeng, dean of the Institute of Brain Intelligence Science and Technology at Fudan University, led an international cooperation team that revealed the interaction between sleep duration and brain structure, cognitive ability and mental health during children’s developmental stages at the level of brain neural mechanisms. The results have been published in the authoritative journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Sleep problem is an important problem in brain science research, most brain diseases such as depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and so on are closely related to sleep problems. Using statistical analysis, the team analyzed the sleep duration of nearly 11,000 children and found that sleep duration was positively correlated with the area of the cerebral cortex in the frontal lobe, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, wedge lobe, and precipitous, indicating a significant correlation between sleep duration and cognitive ability, mental health (especially depressive symptoms) in children. Children who slept longer were generally better at cognitive and mental health than those with shorter periods of time.
In addition, follow-up analysis showed a negative correlation between depression scores at baseline levels and sleep duration after one year. The team also revealed a modulation relationship between brain structure, depression scores, and sleep duration.
With the spread of electronic products, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are becoming more common among children and adolescents around the world. “Children with less than seven hours of sleep were 53 percent higher overall behavioral problems on average compared to children who slept between 9 and 11 hours, and 7.8 percent less overall cognitive scores, highlighting the importance of adequate sleep for children’s cognitive and mental health.” Adequate sleep also plays an important role in children’s brain development, Feng said.
According to reports, the study is expected to guide the reasonable arrangement of children’s sleep time, promote children’s healthy lifestyle to provide a scientific basis.
The research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Shanghai Brain and Brain Intelligence Basic Transformation Application Research municipal major special projects and so on.