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Sweet dreams: why sleep matters for one-year-olds

By John Published: November 17, 2010

Here's some interesting new research on the importance of sleep in very young children, courtesy of the Early Ed blog.

A study released today, conducted by researchers from the University of Montreal and University of Minnesota, found that infants at 12 months and 18 months who get most of their sleep during the night perform better when they reach 18 months and 26 months in ''executive functions,'' such as their ability to retain information, be flexible in changing environments, and control their attention and impulses. This remained true even after researchers controlled for factors such as parent's education, income, and the children's cognitive ability.

The authors reported that this is the first study, known to them, to take a longitudinal look at potential links between early sleep and the development of executive functions, which have been gaining more attention as indicators of children's likelihood of succeeding in school.

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