The study involved 2,057 mothers in Quebec. They answered annual questionnaires until their child reached 5 years of age.
Results show that nightly sleep duration and hyperactivity were significantly associated. Highly hyperactive children were five times more likely to have a short sleep duration. Short sleepers were four times more likely to have high hyperactivity.
Boys were more likely than girls to be a hyperactive, short sleeper. Other risk factors included living in a low-income home and having a mother with a low education.
“Hyperactivity problems may interfere with night-time sleep,” senior author Jacques Montplaisir said in a news release. “We found that children who didn't sleep long were generally hyperactive boys who lived under adverse family conditions. On the other hand, short or fragmented sleep leads to sleepiness, which could manifest as hyperactivity in boys.”
He also noted that hyperactivity scores were low in young children who slept for at least 11 hours at night.
In September the Sleep Education Blog reported that living in a “fragile family” can affect how children sleep. Another study linked sleep loss to hyperactivity in children.
Earlier this year the Sleep Education Blog reported that children often respond to sleep loss in a different way than adults. Sleep-deprived adults tend to be sleepy and sluggish during the day.
But sleep-deprived children may be hyperactive. This is one key symptom of ADHD. Children with ADHD also may be inattentive or impulsive.
Learn more about sleep and children.
Image by Nico Cavallotto