Poor sleep may be a factor in aggressive behavior among kids, according to new research that found that children who bully other kids are more likely to be sleepy during the day.
In the study, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found that children with conduct problems at school were twice as likely to have sleep-disordered breathing problems or daytime sleepiness as other children who reported adequate amounts of sleep.
"What this study does is raise the possibility that poor sleep, from whatever cause, can indeed play into bullying or other aggressive behaviors -- a major problem that many schools are trying to address," Louise O'Brien, assistant professor in the University of Michigan's Sleep Disorders Center and the departments of neurology and oral and maxillofacial surgery, said in a university news release.
In examining elementary school students who had conduct problems, the researchers concluded that sleep-disordered breathing -- problems that occur during sleep, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, where the airway collapses -- could be the cause of their daytime sleepiness. Other reasons for kids' fatigue, they noted, could include a disorganized home environment or too much stimulation from technology, such as televisions, cellphones or computers in the bedroom.
Source: U.S. News & World Report