Is children's reading ability affected by their sleep?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New research published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology suggests that sleep problems may negatively affect children's reading ability.

In the study that included 339 children aged four to 14 years, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their children's sleep, while the children completed a test of word reading efficiency.

Children whose parents reported increased sleep-disordered breathing, , and a short time for children to fall asleep (which is generally associated with increased tiredness) had poorer performance on reading tasks for both words and nonwords.

"Being a good reader is a strong predictor of academic success and improved life outcomes, so we recommend screening children with sleep problems for , and children with reading difficulties for ," said corresponding author Anna Joyce, Ph.D., MSc, of Regent's University London. "Screening and treating sleep and literacy difficulties at a young age could help to improve life outcomes for all children."

More information: Anna Joyce et al, Sleep‚Äźdisordered breathing and daytime sleepiness predict children's reading ability, British Journal of Educational Psychology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12465

Provided by Wiley
Citation: Is children's reading ability affected by their sleep? (2021, November 3) retrieved 9 December 2023 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

More than one-third of children sleep less than recommended


Feedback to editors