Lack of Shut-Eye Prompts Preschoolers to Consume More Food
Parents: scientists have found one more reason to make sure your little ones are getting enough z’s.
In an experiment focusing on three- and four-year-old preschool children, kids who were used to napping went without their routine daytime nap and hit the sack at night two hours later than usual.
During the “day of lost sleep,” as University of Colorado-Boulder researchers called the first part of the experiment, the study kids took in about 20 percent more calories than usual, 25 percent more sugar, and 26 percent more carbohydrates, said assistant professor Monique LeBourgeois, lead study author.
On the “recovery day” the next day, when kids were allowed to sleep as much as they wanted, children consumed normal amounts of sugar and carbohydrates, but still took in 14 percent more calories and 23 percent more fat than usual.
So the take-home for parents of the sleep deprived: less shut-eye means more food.
The Colorado study appears in the Journal of Sleep Research and echoes concerns of the National Sleep Foundation, whose studies show about 30 percent of preschool children don’t get enough sleep.
Have Human Tutors Met Their Match?
A computer-based video game developed by Yale University scientists boosts kids’ performance in reading and math—in some cases even more than one-on-one tutoring, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Developers said the neuroscience-based brain-training program improves kids’ working memory, self-control, sustained attention, executive function, and other skills.
In the study, second-grade students who played the brain-training game Activate for 20 minutes three times a week over a four-week period scored better on math and reading than students who had one-on-one coaching but did not use the program.
Researchers said the “effect on math achievement scores was greater than what has been reported” for individualized tutoring. The effect on reading scores, they added, “was greater than what has been reported for summer reading programs.”
Study Shows Today’s Parents Spend More Time with Their Kids Compared with Parents 50 Years Ago
Yes, folks, you were correct. You definitely spend a lot of time with your kids. But here’s something you probably didn’t expect: time spent with kids is highest among better-educated parents.
Here are the stats, according to University of California, Irvine investigators and colleagues at Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy:
Between 1965 and 2012, all but one of 11 Western nations surveyed (the outlier, France) showed an increase in the amount of time both parents spent with their children.
In 1965, moms spent a daily average of 54 minutes on childcare activities, while mothers in 2012 averaged almost twice that at 104 minutes per day.
Dads’ time with children nearly quadrupled. In 1965, fathers spent a daily average of just 16 minutes with their kids. Today’s fathers spend about 59 minutes a day caring for them.
And among today’s parents, researchers found:
College-educated mothers spent an estimated 123 minutes daily on childcare, compared with 94 minutes spent by less-educated moms.
Fathers with a college degree spent about 74 minutes a day with their kids, while less-educated dads averaged 50 minutes.
The study was published online in the August issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.