A new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that fish may be the key to a good night’s sleep.
The paper, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, found an association between regular fish consumption and high sleep quality among Chinese schoolchildren, likely thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Largely as a result of that improved sleep, the researchers found, the children also scored higher on IQ tests.
Omega-3s, fatty acids found in fish, have previously been linked individually to boosts in intelligence and improved sleep. But all these links have never been connected together before. The latest suggests that improved sleep may boost intelligence.
Leading professor, Jianghong Liu said in a statement that, “This area of research is not well-developed”. “Here we look at omega-3s coming from our food instead of from supplements”. The study involved 541 (54% boys and 46% girls) Chinese schoolchildren. United States researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analysed data on 541 kids aged nine to 11.
The kids also took a Chinese version of an IQ test that rates verbal and non-verbal skills called the Wechsler Intelligence scale for Children -Revised. The questions included how long did the kids sleep, how often they woke up in the middle of the night or whether they sleep during daytime, according to reports.
Children who eat fish once a week sleep better and have higher IQ scores, a new study suggests. Those whose meals sometimes included fish scored 3.3 points higher. “It’s not that eating fish is unhealthy per se, but there are issues that need to be considered before parents go overboard feeding fish to their kids to make them smarter and sleep better”, said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center in New York City.
“Lack of sleep is associated with antisocial behavior; poor cognition is associated with antisocial behavior”, explains study co-author Prof.
The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claim that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may be the reason behind the same.
“It really has to be a concerted effort, especially in a culture where fish is not as commonly served or smelled”. She added: “Children are sensitive to smell”. If they’re not used to it, they may shy away from it’. Whether the team’s findings may be relevant to adults remains to be seen, but this is something they plan to investigate in future research, as well as which types of fish are most beneficial.
The researchers say that their study also provides further evidence of the health benefits of fish, and they encourage children to eat more of it. The children were asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they ate fish in the past month, with option ranging from never to at least once a week. “Doing that could be a lot easier than nudging children about going to bed”, Raine said. It’s a double hit’.