Can poor sleep habits in early childhood have long term effects?
Not surprisingly, the short-sleepers were also more likely to score higher on tests of hyperactivity and impulsivity at age six, highlighting the importance of consistent and sufficient sleep in promoting concentration and attention skills. Montplaisir’s group found more hyperactivity even among youngsters who started out as short-sleepers but had normalized their sleeping patterns by preschool age, to 10 hours a night. That suggests that early childhood — before about 3.5 years of age — is a critical period during which parents should establish proper sleeping patterns, says Montplaisir, since lack of sleep during that stage can lead to detrimental effects on behavior and development later in life.
From Time Magazine: Can’t Sleep? Turn Off the Cell Phone! based on the original study: Associations Between Sleep Duration Patterns and Behavioral/Cognitive Functioning at School Entry