"It is important that parents educate their kids at an early age about the importance of consistent and healthy sleep habits," said lead author of the study Jinshia Ly from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. For the study, the research team recruited 220 kids aged eight to 18 years old. The participants gave saliva samples from which their cortisol levels were measured. The kids and their parents also answered questions about stress, sleep habits and bedtime routines.
The researchers found that poorer sleep quality, regardless of how long kids spent sleeping, promoted the negative effects of stress on their cortisol levels. Sleeping throughout the night without waking up, feeling rested in the morning, and absence of sleep problems, such as nightmares, apnea and snoring, are examples of a better quality sleep," Ly noted. The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.