When you observe a student just “going through the
motions” at school, have you ever wondered whether lack of sufficient sleep
might be a contributing factor? Research seems to indicate that sleep
facilitates working memory. Studies have shown a link between sleep deprivation
and diminished performance of abstract and complex tasks. Sleep disorders are
associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, medical disorders (e.g., asthma,
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cancer) and with emotional and behavioral
difficulties, including depression, anxiety, aggression, conduct disorders and
addiction. Sleep problems are often present in children with intellectual
disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum
disorders, making learning even more of a challenge.
Screening for sleep deprivation.