Do you want to raise successful children? Neuroscience tells them to teach them this crucial brain habit

I’m so tired now. Maybe you recognize it. I’m a parent of a young child, so sometimes it seems like that’s the norm.

It also means that I am now going to do my best to explain everything you want to know about a brand new brain study related to children and sleep, and to tell it quickly, efficiently and effectively.

I mean, if you’ve read this thoroughly, I’m assuming you’re probably a sleep-deprived parent too. And like me, you’re interested in your own success, but you probably also spend a lot of time thinking about how to do the best for your kids.

Here is the summary of the research:

Researchers from the University of Maryland studied data on 8,300 children, ages 9 to 10, with a specific focus on how much sleep they got each night and what this meant for their success years later.

Bottom line upfront, according to their results: Teach your kids not to get as tired as you do.

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It’s not just a matter of moodiness or short-term health. Instead, as the researchers found, children who slept less than they should at a fairly young age had significant physiological brain differences and cognitive markers in subsequent years.

As co-author Ze Wang, PhD, a professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, explained:

“We found that children who did not get enough sleep at the start of the study had less than nine hours a night, less gray matter or volume in certain brain regions responsible for attention, memory and inhibition control compared to children with sound sleep. . to use.

These differences persisted after two years, a worrying finding that suggests long-term harm for those who don’t get enough sleep.”

Are there three more terrifying and action-inspiring words for a parent than “long-term damage?”

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6 to 12 regularly sleep 9 to 12 hours a night. And while some kids do it effortlessly, parents and kids know that others don’t come close to that amount.

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Anyway, this isn’t exactly an article about shaming parents, or moms and dads who take their toddlers and preschoolers to late night movies and concerts. (Although, don’t.)

Instead, it’s about habits and science.

Fortunately, some of the external societal sleep challenges you have faced in earlier times are becoming a little less difficult.

In other words, we all learn – thanks to science.

Look, I admit I belong to the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd when it comes to sleep hygiene. But I really hope I can pass on better habits to the next generation, and I suspect you can too.

Because really, this study combines the topics of two of my most popular free ebooks: How to Raise Successful Kids (7th Edition) and The Free Book of Neuroscience: 13 Ways to Understand and Train Your Brain for Life.

“Sleep can often be overlooked during busy childhood days filled with homework and extracurricular activities,” says co-author E. Albert Reece. “Now we see how damaging that can be to a child’s development.”

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not Inc.com’s.

This post Do you want to raise successful children? Neuroscience tells them to teach them this crucial brain habit

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