chapter  13
Methodologies for paediatric sleep research in typical and atypical populations
ByFrances Le Cornu Knight, Dagmara Dimitriou
Pages 18

In a world of increasing environmental distractors, the appeal of getting a good night’s sleep is diminishing for many children and adolescents. And yet, more and more research is surfacing showing sleep to be fundamental for healthy development. First, sleep promotes the production of growth hormones, which facilitate healthy brain and bodily development. Second, sleep supports processes of memory consolidation that lead to stable long-term memories, and facilitate learning. Finally, sleep helps to support healthy brain development, by promoting neural plasticity and ridding the brain of the neurochemical toxins that build up during the day (Xie et al., 2013). Similarly, we now know that insufficient sleep duration and poor sleep quality have negative effects on academic performance and daytime behaviour. Children with poor sleep perform worse on schoolwork, find it harder to concentrate and display more disruptive behaviours (Sadeh, Gruber, & Raviv, 2002).