Author(s): Dewald JF, Meijer AM, Oort FJ, Kerkhof GA, Bgels SM
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Abstract Insufficient sleep, poor sleep quality and sleepiness are common problems in children and adolescents being related to learning, memory and school performance. The associations between sleep quality (k=16 studies, N=13,631), sleep duration (k=17 studies, N=15,199), sleepiness (k=17, N=19,530) and school performance were examined in three separate meta-analyses including influential factors (e.g., gender, age, parameter assessment) as moderators. All three sleep variables were significantly but modestly related to school performance. Sleepiness showed the strongest relation to school performance (r=-0.133), followed by sleep quality (r=0.096) and sleep duration (r=0.069). Effect sizes were larger for studies including younger participants which can be explained by dramatic prefrontal cortex changes during (early) adolescence. Concerning the relationship between sleep duration and school performance age effects were even larger in studies that included more boys than in studies that included more girls, demonstrating the importance of differential pubertal development of boys and girls. Longitudinal and experimental studies are recommended in order to gain more insight into the different relationships and to develop programs that can improve school performance by changing individuals' sleep patterns. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Sleep Med Rev
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy