Sleep : Omega-3s Associated with Better Sleep

A new study in the Journal of Sleep Research finds that higher levels of omega-3 DHA are associated with better sleep. Researchers in the randomized, placebo-controlled study explored whether 16 weeks of daily 600 mg supplements of algal sources of DHA would improve sleep of 362 children. Study participants weren’t selected for sleep problems, but were all struggling readers at school.

Parents filled out a sleep questionnaire, which revealed that one in ten kids suffered from regular sleep disturbances, including resistance to bedtime, anxiety about sleep, and constant waking over the course of the night.

After fitting the children with wrist sensors to monitor movements in bed over five nights, results showed that the children taking the daily omega-3 supplements had about an hour more sleep per night and seven fewer waking episodes compared with those taking the placebo.

Previous studies have linked low omega-3 levels with poor sleep in infants and in children and adults with behavior and learning difficulties, but this is the first study to do so in healthy kids.

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