The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Parent Education Association organized a fabulous event this week on sleep deprivation. I (Clare) attended and felt I learned so much!
The speaker Dr. Reut Gruber (professor at McGill University) walked us through “sleep for success” which included a description of our sleep cycles and some of the consequences of sleep deprivation. Here are a few key points that I found incredibly informative.
- Sleep is affected by intrinsic biological processes, cultural values, parental beliefs, school start time, and age
- Sleep deprivation affects academic performance, mental wellness, and physical health
- Regarding academic performance she said executive functions are affected, not allowing children to filter, make correction decisions, plan, resist distractions and regulate emotions
- Regarding sleep, learning, and memory she said that we need to sleep so that the new information/learning can be integrated into what is already known. She said that we tend to think that if we expose children to “more” they will become “more brilliant” but knowledge needs to consolidated.
- She gave a great analogy – if we do not sleep it is like not pressing the “save” button on our computer. Memory consolidation occurs when we sleep. For this process to occur we need to be “offline” that is be asleep.
Her work has been profiled on CNN, CBS …. Here is a link to some of her articles: