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Is children’s reading ability affected by their sleep?

11/03/2021

New research published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology suggests that sleep problems may negatively affect children’s reading ability. 

In the study that included 339 children aged four to 14 years, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their children’s sleep, while the children completed a test of word reading efficiency.

Children whose parents reported increased sleep-disordered breathing, daytime sleepiness, and a short time for children to fall asleep (which is generally associated with increased tiredness) had poorer performance on reading tasks for both words and nonwords.

“Being a good reader is a strong predictor of academic success and improved life outcomes, so we recommend screening children with sleep problems for reading difficulties, and children with reading difficulties for sleep problems,” said corresponding author Anna Joyce, PhD, MSc, of Regent’s University London. “Screening and treating sleep and literacy difficulties at a young age could help to improve life outcomes for all children.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjep.12465

About Journal

The British Journal of Educational Psychology publishes psychological research that makes a significant contribution to the understanding and practice of education as well as advances the field in terms of theory related to educational psychology. Our aim is to publish research which has a broad international appeal to researchers and practitioners in education. We welcome empirical and methodological papers, experimental studies, observations of classroom behaviours, interviews, and surveys. Important criteria in the selection process are quality of argument and execution, clarity in presentation, and educational significance. Although we tend to publish more quantitative than qualitative studies, we welcome rigorous, empirical qualitative studies.

About Wiley

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