Disturbed sleep in preschoolers linked to emotional and behavioural problems

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Chinese scientists looked at data for 17,182 children with an average age of nearly four years, and say they found a link between disturbed sleep and emotional and behavioural problems. Kids with sleep disturbances were more likely to have unresolved emotional and behavioural problems, and less likely to have resolved those problems. Among kids whose sleep disturbances got better, they were more likely to have resolved any problems. The findings highlight the importance of ensuring young children get a good night’s sleep to improve their mental wellbeing, the authors say.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.47623

Organisation/s: Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Funder: The study was supported by grants 82201645 and 82071493 from the National Natural
Science Foundation, grants 2022you1-2 and D1502 from the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, grants
SHSMU-ZDCX20211900 and SHSMU-ZDCX20211100 from the Innovative Research Team of High-level Local
Universities in Shanghai, and grant 2022XD056 from the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

Media release

From: JAMA

Sleep Disturbances and Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties Among Preschool-Aged Children

About The Study: The natural history of sleep disturbances was associated with both resolved and incident emotional and behavioral difficulties in this study of 17,000 preschool-aged children. Routine screening and precise intervention for sleep disturbances may benefit the psychosocial well-being of this population.


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