Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sleep Affects IQ   posted by Fly @ 3/13/2007 12:13:00 PM

Sleep Disorders Can Impair Children's IQs As Much As Lead Exposure

UVa researchers have been studying sleep disturbances in children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids for the past seven years. In a recent study, they discovered that youngsters who snore nightly scored significantly lower on vocabulary tests than those who snore less often.
According to Dr. Suratt, the vocabulary differences associated with nightly snoring are equivalent to the IQ dissimilarities attributed to lead exposure. "Studies show that, even at nontoxic levels, lead exposure can reduce a child's IQ by more than seven points," he notes.
In a series of studies involving six to twelve-year-olds, researchers have been piecing together a list of risk indicators. So far, snoring frequency combined with sleep lab results have proven to be the most reliable predictors of intellectual impairment and behavioral problems. Sleep duration and race appear to be important risk factors, too.

This study only shows correlation but when combined with research showing the importance of sleep for consolidating memories the story becomes interesting. Perhaps treatments that improve sleep quality will increase IQ?

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