Omega-3 DHA plays a big role in kids sleep

DHA Kids sleep

According to new data from Oxford University, consumption of omega-3 DHA could help improve the quality of sleep in children.

The data from the Oxford University DOLAB (DHA Oxford Learning and Behaviour) research study used data to assess a possible link between blood omega-3 status, behaviour and sleep quality.

Professor Paul Montgomery from the University of Oxford revealed new preliminary data from the study that links omega-3 status to sleep quality and disorders in children.

He explained that the findings revealed “decreased sleep quality and an increased risk of sleep disorders was well correlated with blood levels of the omega-3 long chain fatty acid DHA.”

In the study, parents were asked to rate their perceived quality of their children’s sleep, researchers then analysed these scores against blood measures of omega-3.  The sample size of 395 was a large number for any study of this kind.

A 15% sub sample of the children was then used in a detailed randomised trial to assess whether supplementation with DHA would improve their sleep.

Children in this group were asked to wear wrist watch style sensors that measure sleep.  They were measured for a baseline at the beginning of the trial and again after supplementation with either omega-3 DHA or a placebo.

Those in the omega-3 DHA group have marked improvements in their sleep quality and blood levels of omega-3 DHA.  These children were awake for less throughout the night.

While Montgomery admits that the sample size is small, he stated that the “action is clear”, and the he was “struck by the size and scale” of the findings.

Image via Thinkstock

4 thoughts on “Omega-3 DHA plays a big role in kids sleep

  1. Kelvyn

    Could you please provide the name of the research study referred to in your article ‘Omega-3 DHA plays a big role in kids sleep’ from 27 September 2013. I would really appreciate your assistance with this for a project I am currently working on.

    Kind regards

    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Kelvyn,

      Professor Montgomery from the Univeristy of Oxford presented his findings at the Food & Behaviour Research symposium in early September 2013. These were wider findings from his original study on the effects of DHA on children’s learning and behaviour. You can read the original study here, hope that was of some help.

      The inital study can be found here:
      Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading, Cognition and Behavior in Children Aged 7–9 Years: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (The DOLAB Study)
      Richardson AJ, Burton JR, Sewell RP, Spreckelsen TF, Montgomery P (2012) Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading, Cognition and Behavior in Children Aged 7–9 Years: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (The DOLAB Study). PLoS ONE 7(9): e43909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043909

      Diana – Health365

  2. Craig b

    One of our identical triplets loses weight every other weigh in, he is a VERY small eater, the hospital dietician
    suggested mixing fish oil in his cereal to boost the calorie count. From what i understand fish oil is about
    900 calories per 100ml, is this true of all omega-3 and 6 oils or only proper cold pressed salmon oil for example.

    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Craig,

      As a macro-nutrient, fat supplies 9cal/gm. If 100ml is appoximately 100gms – give or take – then that will equal to 900 calories. If the fish oil you are using is 100% oil, without any other fillers or additives it’s safe to say that they will also supply 900 calories.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Diana – Health365


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