Memory-Reinforcing Benefits Of Sleep Are Even Greater In Kids, Study Finds

A Brain Benefit Of A Good Night's Sleep For Kids

Here's another reason to make sure your child gets enough sleep each night.

A small new study in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows that brain's processing and storing of learned information is even more effective in kids than adults.

"The formation of explicit knowledge appears to be a very specific ability of childhood sleep, since children typically benefit as much or less than adults from sleep when it comes to other types of memory tasks," study researcher Dr. Ines Wilhelm, of the University of Tubingen, said in a statement.

The study included 35 kids between ages 8 and 11, and 37 adults between ages 18 and 35. About half of the kids and half the adults did a motor task, which involved learning and remembering, before they went to bed at night, while the other half of the kids and adults did the same task in the morning after having had a night's sleep.

Researchers found that the adults and kids who did the task in the morning after sleep were better at remembering elements for the task, compared with those who did it before going to bed. And the kids did a better job than the adults at remembering elements in the morning.

Similarly, a 2011 study from Michigan State University showed that memories may actually be strengthened during sleep, in a way that isn't demonstrated on an intelligence or aptitude test.

"There is substantial evidence that during sleep, your brain is processing information without your awareness and this ability may contribute to memory in a waking state," the researcher of that study, Kimberley Fenn, said in a statement.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers need anywhere from 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day, preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours of sleep a night, and school-aged kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night.

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