Sleep problems are associated with poor school performance, but now researchers at the University of Oxford, U.K., might have a solution to that problem. They measured blood levels of the omega-3 fats and compared that to sleep habits in a group of 395 healthy children aged 7- to 9-years-old who struggled with reading in school. In 40% of the sample, scores on the Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire showed clinical-level sleep problems. In addition, poor total sleep scores were linked to lower blood levels of the omega-3 fat DHA. The children were supplemented daily with 600 milligrams of algal DHA for 16 weeks. Results showed supplementation was associated with, on average, seven fewer wake episodes and 58 minutes more sleep per night. The researchers conclude that “…higher blood levels of docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] may be related to better child sleep.”
Montgomery P, Burton J, Sewell R, et al: Fatty acids and sleep in UK children. Journal of Sleep Research 2014;March 8th.