Here’s another reason to make sure that your child gets adequate sleep. Dr. Ines Wilhelm of the University of Tübingen’s Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology and her Swiss and German colleagues published the results of a study in Nature Neuroscience that shows that sleep allows the brain to store what we have learned during the day. While that is true for adults, it’s “even more effective in children than in adults.
The Science Daily article, “Sleep Reinforces Learning: Children’s Brains Transform Subconsciously Learned Material Into Active Knowledge,” reports that what adults learn is stored in their memories during sleep. This transition transforms “memory into a form that makes future learning easier; implicit knowledge becomes explicit and therefore becomes more easily transferred to other areas.” The researchers found this is even more profound in children. After testing the memories of children aged eight through 11 and young adults with a night of sleep or a day awake, the results showed that both age groups could perform better than those who had remained awake.
Because children sleep deeper than adults, they are able to transform larger amounts of new learning to their memories better than adults. Making sure that your son gets adequate sleep is good for his physical health and for his academic performance as well.