Sleep Deprivation Linked To Bullying
Sleep deprivation is more likely to affect kids who bully or have conduct problems at school, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at data from elementary school students who had exhibited bullying behaviors or conduct problems and found that they were at much higher risk than others for symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing and daytime sleepiness.
“What this study does is raise the possibility that poor sleep, from whatever cause, can indeed play into bullying or other aggressive behaviors – a major problem that many schools are trying to address,” said Louise O’Brien of the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center, as quoted by Newswise. “Our schools do push the importance of healthy eating and exercise, but this study highlights that good sleep is just as essential to a healthy lifestyle.”
According to O’Brien, sleepiness was the main thing that seemed to drive the behavior problems. In addition to sleep-disordered breathing, the sleepiness experienced by the study participants could have been caused by fragmented sleep, chaotic home environments, electronic stimuli such as computers, and other things.
“Given the high prevalence of aggressive, bullying and disruptive behaviors in schools and the long-lasting consequences for both perpetrators and victims, more study on this issue is needed,” O’Brien said, as quoted by Newswise.
The study was published in the journal Sleep Medicine.