Can better sleep mean better grades?

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Poor sleep can negatively impact your child's grades, emotions and overall behaviour. This means you might need to introduce an earlier bed time. Or let your child sleep in. Or invest in a new mattress.

While very little research has looked at the link between sleep and intelligence in children. It is clear that sleep deprivation eats our brains (yes, really!) and that sleep is an important contributor to developing long-term memory, but can better sleep mean better grades?

FACT 1: An intelligent child who is sleep-deprived will get poorer grades

It appears that we all inherit 40-50% of our intelligence. We could call this our baseline intelligence. Certain behaviours will help us maintain or develop this intelligence (like eating nutritious food and getting good sleep), whilst other behaviours will erode this intelligence (not eating well or not getting enough sleep).

If your child is not getting enough sleep, it would impact their visual visual intelligence and problem-solving abilities (think maths, science and design). For more read: The Sleep EEG as a marker of intellectual ability in school-age children.

FACT 2: A child with lower intelligence cannot sleep their way to higher intelligence

While sleep allows your brain an opportunity to heal and restore, it does not ‘create’ intelligence. However, having enough energy to fully embrace learning opportunities during the day will enhance your child's ability to absorb these learnings and sleep will help cement this learning.

Whatever your child’s IQ may be, help them get the sleep that they need to perform well at school by using a bedtime routine.

Remember also that an uncomfortable bed will impact your child's sleep just as much as it would yours - so think twice before giving your child your old mattress. Investing in a good bed for your child could mean a happier and calmer child. Visit the Sealy website to view our range of beds: www.sealy.co.za

Not sure if your child is getting enough sleep? Click here for a handy infographic from The Better Sleep Council:

How much sleep does my child need?

Article written by Roxanne Atkinson

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