• Increased Intake of Omega-3 Helps Kids Sleep Better

    Results in longer and less interrupted sleep
  • sleeping girl

    According to a study by Oxford University, the quality of kids’ sleep may improve with the regular intake of oily fish. The study is set to be published soon in the Journal of Sleep Research.

    Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, such a diet results in children’s sleep being longer and being less interrupted.

    362 children, aged seven to nine, were given either omega-3 DHA supplements or a placebo for 16 weeks to see if it had any effects on their sleep.

    The parents were asked to answer a questionnaire which allowed researchers to determine that four out of 10 in the participants suffered from sleep problems. 

    Related story: Sleep Regression: What it is and How to Handle it

    Sensors were attached to the kids’ wrists to note their movements in bed for around five evenings.
    Those who took the omega-3 DHA supplements ended up having 58 minutes more sleep and waking up seven times less throughout the night, than those who took a placebo.

    “Various substances made within the body from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have long been known to play key roles in the regulation of sleep,” said Paul Montgomery, lead author of the study. “For example, lower ratios of DHA have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, and that would fit with our findings that sleep problems in children with lower levels of DHA in their blood.”

    Given the small number of child participants, the researchers admitted a need for further research. 

    Next story: The Ferber Method: Can it Solve Babies’ Sleeping Problems?

    Sources:

    • March 6, 2014. Jenny Hope. “How oily fish could help children sleep better: Daily dose of omega-3 stops youngsters waking through the night” dailymail.co.uk

    • March 8, 2014. “Omega-3 fatty acids may improve children’s sleep patterns: study” ctvnews.ca

    • March 11, 2014. “Higher Levels of Omega 3 Tied to Better Sleep in Kids” psychcentral.com 

     

    Photo by Mike Bitzenhofer via flickr creative commons

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