The age-old proverb is true after all! Poor sleeping habits make kids dull students and this can adversely affect their ability to learn and interact at school, according to a new study.
The new survey led by Melbourne researchers has revealed that nearly a quarter of children aged six and seven have poor sleeping habits, which has a strong effect on their health, behaviour and learning ability.
"Children are able to make the transition well if they are able to interact with peers and teachers and concentrate in class and take on the workload," he said.
"If you have enough sleep, you have enough concentration ... the brain is still growing, they are still taking in a lot of information," Sydney Morning Herald quoted Jon Quach, lead researcher, as saying.
"Some might say it's an overwhelming amount of information so the brain needs to be optimal. If you don't get enough sleep, that's something you are really missing out on," he added.
The team from the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute studied almost 4500 children, whose sleep behaviour was recorded at the age four to five and again at six to seven. About one-third of children reported poor sleep habits.
In another survey, about 23 per cent of the children were reported to have sleep problems. About 6 per cent were classified as moderate or severe.
The problems included children who were unhappy to sleep alone, reluctance to go to bed, sleep and waking during the night.
However, compared to the first survey about 10 per cent had resolved their problems, while about 3 per cent had continued to sleep badly and another 3 per cent developed new problems.
"If the child has a persistent sleep problem then their outcomes will be worse,"
"And if they have a resolving sleep problem, and that's treated or just naturally goes away, then their outcomes will improve.
"They won't be as good as if they had no sleep problems at all, but they did show a remarkable improvement," he added.