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Study: 27 Extra Minutes Of Sleep Can Help Children Behave, Focus In Class

Child reading in bed (credit: CBS 2)

Child reading in bed (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Are your children cranky? Dozing off at school? Hyperactive? Difficult to control?

Researchers have found that the solution could be as simple as more shuteye.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports

A study by McGill University found children were able to regulate their emotions and focus in school if they were given an extra 27 minutes of sleep each night.

The study also found that children between the ages of 7 and 11 who slept an average of 54 minutes less than others were more temperamental.

One mother in Old Tappan, N.J., said the study’s findings ring true in her home.

“Nothing is running smoothly, they’re agitated, they’re tired, they’re cranky and then they start acting up together. It’s just not a smooth morning,” mother of two Roseann Todd told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois.

“Bed is sometimes a struggle but it’s my goal because they need sleep,” Todd added.

The report was welcome news to some New York City parents.

“You know, I’m going to give them an hour,” one father said.

One mother said her children get plenty of sleep, but still have trouble doing well in school.

“My kids sleep from 8 p.m. all the way to 7 a.m., but still they wake up hyper and drive me crazy,” she said.

Experts said a lack of sleep can create problems with teachers and other kids.

“For children who had just 27 minutes more sleep for five consecutive nights, that there was actually an improvement in their mood and their behavior the next day,” Dr. Alanna Levine told Dubois.

Levine, a contributor for babycenter.com, said there are some ways to help facilitate your child’s good night’s sleep.

“You want to limit things that can be stimulating to a child. So this would be TV use in the two hours prior to going to bed. You want to limit computer time, texting time on the cell phone,” Levine told Dubois.

Experts recommend children sleep 10 to 11 hours a night.

The study, titled “Impact of Sleep Extension and Restriction on Children’s Emotional Lability and Impulsivity,” will be featured in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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