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开学了 给孩子一个好睡眠

2007年09月15日  所属:双语新闻  来源:英语点津  作者:姗姗编辑

开学了 给孩子一个好睡眠
Kids and sleep: they need more
Now that school has started, many parents find themselves struggling to shift their kids back to a working routine. As they shave off time for TV and the Internet to make way for schoolwork, parents may want to add extra for that other big contributor to success at school: sleep. Recent research on kids has connected the importance of sleep not only to cognition, but to behavior and mood as well.

Some researchers theorize that the REM, or rapid eye movement, phase of sleep is when the brain produces and consolidates neural networks for memory and cognition. It's a kind of "formatting of the brain," says Ralph Downey, an expert of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University and Children's Hospital in Southern California and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Before the age of 6, a typical child will require between 12 and 13 hours of sleep per night, says Judith Owens, associate professor of pediatrics at Brown University and a noted expert on childhood sleep disorders. At age 6, 10 to 11 hours are needed. While the amount of sleep necessary drops once kids reach adolescence, Owens notes, "they still need at least nine hours under ideal circumstances."

What if they come up short? A sleep-deprived child's reaction is often different from the low energy and sleepiness experienced by adults. "Reducing the amount of hours a child sleeps manifests itself in the child becoming wired and hyperexcitable--exhibiting behavior similar to children with attention deficit disorder," says David Gozal, director of the pediatric sleep program at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Kids' emotions may become erratic, says Gozal, and they may be less apt to listen or pay attention. Researchers at the University of Montreal report that a study of young children showed that those who slept significantly fewer hours than the recommended 10 were more hyperactive and impulsive than those who got plenty of shuteye and scored lower on two cognitive skills tests.

"Our results indicate that a modest but chronic reduction of just one hour of sleep nightly in early childhood can affect the child's cognitive performance at school entry," says Dominique Petit, a sleep researcher and coauthor of the study. She thinks there's a critical period in early childhood when the lack of sleep is particularly detrimental to development, even if sleep habits improve later on.

But moving "lights out" earlier can be a big challenge. Mark Goetting, a sleep medicine specialist and medical director of the Sleep Health Center in Portage, Mich., offers some recommendations:

Create positive associations with going to bed. "Often, parents will say to a child, 'You can stay up as long as you're good,' or, 'If you don't do what I say, you're going to bed.' It's not healthy to associate going to bed with punishment," says Goetting. "Parents and children will begin to see bedtime as a power struggle." And, of course, both want to win.

Establish a wind-down period before bed. A routine (like reading stories) can let a child know that he's headed toward bedtime and can help him slow down.

Construct a bedroom environment that promotes sleep. "A bedroom should not be a terribly stimulating place," says Goetting. So move the televisions, bright lights, and toys.

When the kids sleep better, parents may notice a difference in their own quality of life, too. "Parents are definitely better rested themselves--their mood is better, they feel more alert--and are able to function better at home and at work," says Owens. "It really sends a positive ripple through the entire family."(Agencies) 新学期开始了,很多家长正努力地把孩子拉回正轨。在让看电视和上网让位于家庭作业的同时,家长们可能还想为孩子的学习进步再添一大“砝码”——睡眠。近日一项有关儿童的研究发现,睡眠不仅和儿童的认知表现有重要关系,而且会影响他们的行为和情绪。

一些研究人员提出,大脑在快速动眼睡眠期会产生并巩固形成记忆和认知的神经元。洛玛?林达大学及南加州儿童医院的睡眠药物专家、美国睡眠药物学会发言人拉尔夫?唐尼说,这有点像大脑的一种“格式化”。布朗大学儿科学副教授、儿童睡眠问题知名专家朱迪思?欧文斯说,一个正常的孩子在六岁之前每天需要12至13个小时的睡眠。6岁的孩子每天需要10至11个小时的睡眠。他说,尽管孩子到了青春期后所需的睡眠时间开始减少,“但在理想状况下,他们仍需要至少九个小时的睡眠”。

孩子睡眠不足会怎样呢?孩子在睡眠不足时的反应往往不同于成年人(在缺觉情况下)感到的精力不足与困乏。肯塔基州路易斯维尔大学的儿童睡眠研究主任大卫?格扎尔说:“孩子在缺乏睡眠的情况下会变得很亢奋——他们此时的行为表现与多动症儿童类似。” 格扎尔说,(在睡眠不足的情况下),孩子的情绪会变得反复无常,他们往往不听话、注意力也不如平时集中。蒙特利尔大学的研究人员称,一项有关幼童的研究表明,睡眠时间严重低于专家建议的10个小时的儿童比睡眠充足的儿童更加亢奋与冲动,他们在两项认知能力测试中的得分也较低。

睡眠研究专家、该研究报告的撰写者之一多明尼克?派提特说:“我们的研究结果表明,在幼童时期,每晚的睡眠时间哪怕只减少一个小时,长时间持续这种状况都会影响孩子上学时的认知表现。”她认为,幼童时期中存在一个关键阶段,在这一阶段缺乏睡眠对孩子的成长尤为不利,即使他们今后的睡眠习惯有所改善也无法补救。

但让孩子早睡觉可谓一大难题。密歇根波蒂奇睡眠健康中心睡眠药物专家、医务主任马克?格汀提出了以下建议:

建立上床睡觉“积极联系”。格汀说,“家长常对孩子说,‘只要你表现好,就可以晚睡会。’或者是,‘如果你不听话,就给我滚到床上去。’将睡觉与惩罚联系在一起是不健康的。家长与孩子都会将上床睡觉视为一种‘权威的争夺’。”当然,双方都想赢。

建立睡前“缓冲期”。(睡前讲故事等)例行活动能让孩子意识到自己该睡觉了,可以让他安静下来。

为孩子营造一个能促进睡眠的卧室环境。格汀说,“卧室环境不可有强烈的刺激效果。”所以,电视机、明亮的灯以及玩具等都应该移出卧室。

孩子睡得好,家长会发现自己的生活质量也有所改观。欧文斯说:“这样一来,父母们就能更好地休息了——情绪变好了,反应也更加敏捷——在家庭和工作中的表现就能更加出色了。这对于整个家庭来说的确是件好事。”(英语点津姗姗编辑) 


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