Your child 5-11 years

Sleep well to succeed at school


In a child, sleeping well is a factor of academic success. The links between sleep and memory are a certainty supported by years of scientific research. It is also important to go to bed at regular times.

Sleep is good to learn

  • Sleep and learning: the existence of links between the two is not a scoop! In 1979, a study conducted by a French researcher, Henri Poulizac, made some interesting revelations in this area. When studying a sample of children aged 7 to 8, of those sleeping less than eight hours per night, 61% had a school delay of at least one year and none was in advance. On the other hand, among children sleeping more than ten hours, only 13% were behind and 11% were at least one year ahead.
  • Over the years, research has followed one another to try to explain why sleep could promote academic success and what mechanisms were at stake. "It was possible to highlight the essential role of REM sleep in memory processes, explains Sylvie Royant-Parola, sleep psychiatrist and president of the Morphée network During the time one dreams, the brain does a lot of work to fix the new learning, to integrate it with what is already acquired. "
  • More recently, thanks to medical imaging, we realized that slow sleep, too, was involved in these processes of memorization. This is not surprising because it is in this phase that the body secretes growth hormone and makes amino acids and proteins. Bricks needed to build the neural connections needed for memorization.

To go to bed at regular hours, it counts!

  • For a long time, we focused on the number of hours of sleep necessary for a child during the night: on average twelve hours to three years, ten hours to 12 years. "But in recent years, many works highlight the importance of rhythms and their regularity, says the specialist.
  • In fact, it is not enough that a child sleeps his happy hours, he must also go to bed and get up at regular hours. Otherwise, the organization of sleep cycles is disrupted and some hormonal secretions are disrupted. As a result, the process of memorization is bad, as are those that regulate moods. "This is how the child, the next day, may be agitated in class, impulsive and unresponsive.Not ideal to succeed ...

Isabelle Gravillon, with the collaboration of Dr. Sylvie Royant-Parola, Sleep Psychiatrist and Chair of the Morphée Network.