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Sleep and Myopia in Children

By Staff
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:46 PM
We’ve all become keenly aware of the growing global myopia epidemic and its impact on children’s waking moments—their school work, time on the playground and social progress. What’s been discussed to a much lesser degree is the impact of myopia on sleep. Myopia does, in fact, have a role to play in quality sleep for children.

A 2016 study suggests a clear correlation exists between children with myopia and accompanying sleep disorders. Those with high myopia are most affected. In the study, children with high myopia displayed the poorest sleep scores and the poorest quality when it comes to sleep. These children also experienced the shortest sleep durations each night and the latest bedtime.

With visual impairment affecting younger and younger children it’s important to be aware of the connection. The medical journal JAMA Ophthalmology published findings in 2017 that 174,000 preschoolers in the U.S. struggle to see due to untreated vision problems, and the report expects this number will increase by 26 percent by 2060. This means the youngest of our children may not be getting the rest they need to fuel their growing bodies and minds.

Children with uncorrected vision already experience a deficit in academic performance, but when you couple this with sleep deprivation and a child’s ability to perform optimally could be significantly impaired over time.

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