Family Magazine

Do Bullies Get Enough Sleep?

By Newsanchormom

Do Bullies get enough sleep?
This is certainly something to think about-do bullies act the way they do because they aren't getting enough sleep? That might be too easy of an answer, but I do know I am crabbier and more short tempered when I don't get my zzzs. Maybe there's something to this. Is your child more violent when he/she is tired? Do you think the bullies at your child's school are tired?
FROM NBC: Could the amount of sleep a child gets affect their likelihood to be a bully during the day? "The whole world is almost gonna like end because someone said something that hurt your feelings so much."
This is the anti-bullying club at Westwood Junior High School in New Jersey-a safe place to share upsetting stories.
"What makes you hate me so much to say that about me?" What makes bullies bully? Well according to a recent study, it may very well be sleep deprivation. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the elementary school bullies they surveyed were twice as likely to show signs of sleep disorders like snoring or daytime sleepiness.
The results make a lot of sense to Dr. Vipin Garg at Trinitas Hospital Sleep Disorder Center. It is well documented that in adults, lack of sleep hampers decision making skills.
Dr. Vipin Garg/Director, Trinitas Sleep Disorder Center: "This study kind of shows the same thing. That they lack the judgment to control emotionally their behavior."
"When children come to the sleep center to be observed for sleep disorders they are usually also suffering from ADHD or aggressive behavior, but when they finally wake up after having a full night's rest, their behavior, doctors say, improves immensely."
Kaitlin Chesley, student: "I think if you don't get sleep, then you start not to think about what you're doing so then you might just say something out of impulse. You'll probably regret it later, but it's still bullying."
Dr. Garg says it's vital to reach rem sleep and delta wave sleep every night and children need more than adults. Children who snore or have sleep apnea are often also hyperactive.
"The clues to whether a child is sleep deprived, just go to the days where there is no school...the weekends, holidays. If a child is in bed till 12 o'clock often you know on weekdays he's deprived and he's trying to catch up on sleep."
Still, experts suspect simply sending bullies to bed isn't enough. Jillian Carpino, Anti-bullying Club Counselor: "I think sleep is part of it, but there's so many more pieces to the puzzle that needs to be put together to put an end to bullying." But a promising piece of the puzzle that could spare a lot of painful childhood experiences.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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