The first phase of the study involved 43 children who were shown to be suffering from poor sleep. Three groups were formed, one given an omega-3 supplement, the other two given a corn or soybean placebo. On average, the children receiving the omega-3 supplement got 58 minutes more sleep, and had seven fewer waking episodes per night.
As a parent, I have to say that an hour more sleep, and seven fewer times of a child waking up are very significant!
The second phase of the study looked at 362 healthy U.K. children aged 7-9. What they found was that those who had higher blood levels of omega-3 DHA slept significantly better, with less bedtime resistance, less parasomnia
(which includes sleeping walking, teeth grinding, and night terrors) and less sleep disturbances in general.
This makes sense because omega-3 fatty acids are important for several key roles in the regulation of sleep, including melatonin production. The study found an “alarming” number of children with low levels of omega-3, and the authors of the study say that research thus far warrants recommendations for DHA supplements for children.
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