Infants spend three-quarters of their time sleeping, children about half of their time, and adults about one-third. Adolescence is a period of development during which sleep patterns often change quite radically. So, why do we spend so much time sleeping? Is it merely for the body and brain to take a rest? Recent findings confirm that, far from taking a rest, parts of the brain are more active during sleep than during wakefulness, consolidating memories of events that happened during the day. Indeed, sleep plays a crucial role both in brain development and in learning, memory and daytime functioning.
The role of sleep in the developing brains is vital. Yet the impact of sleep on cognitive and behavioural development is still in its infancy. Several studies have now reported that optimal quality and quantity of sleep leads to more effective learning, in terms of knowledge acquisition and memory consolidation. In contrast, poor sleep quality during development, particularly sleep fragmentation appears to be a predictor of lower academic performance, reduced attentional capacities, poor executive function and behaviours which challenge.
Lifespan Learning and Sleep Laboratory, Lilas Lab team members, recently presented their work at World Sleep Congress, a joint congress of World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) and World Sleep Federa