Researchers have discovered a direct link between sleeping difficulties as the child is growing and aggressive behaviour in the teenage years up to the age of 19.
Children who have difficulty sleeping, or who have troubled and disturbed sleep, were 40 per cent more likely to be anxious, depressed or aggressive teenagers. The extent of the behavioural problems seemed to coincide with the level of sleeping difficulties, as reported by parents.
However, children who overslept or who had nightmares didn't become 'problem teenagers'.
The study involved 2,076 Dutch children aged from four to 16 years.
(Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2008; 162: 330-5).