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Sleep, Science, and Smarter Kids: How Sleep Boosts Learning

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girl sleepingWant kids to bring home As? Start with more ZZZs. According to sleep experts and numerous new studies, lost sleep hurts learning and hinders school-day success. That’s bad news, because today’s kids get about an hour less sleep each night than they did 30 years ago, says New York Times bestselling author Po Bronson in his book NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. This lost sleep comes with a steep price tag—impaired learning and academic success.

How does sleep boost learning? Researchers believe it has to do with the way the brain processes information during sleep. In fact, Michigan State University researchers found that children can even learn while they’re asleep as the brain integrates new information and memories. Researchers from University of Florida discovered that newborns learn in their sleep, and new research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that sleep helps students perform better on tests.

Read on for age-specific information on how sleep impacts learning—and how to help kids get a better night's rest. —>

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