A team of Israeli researchers tested associations between actigraphic measurement of sleep variables, performance on the Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES), and the Hebrew version of the Child Behavior Checklist completed by parents of 135 2nd, 4th, and 6th grade children.
Children classified as “poor sleepers” on the basis of the actigraphic sleep measurements performed significantly worse on NES symbol digit substitution, continuous performance test commission errors, and digit learning than children classified as good sleepers.
Furthermore, poor sleepers obtained significantly higher scores than good sleepers on the CBCL Total Problems, Thought Problems, and Delinquent Behavior (now called Rule-Breaking Behavior) scales. The authors concluded that “. . .the findings on poor sleepers’ poorer performance on tasks involving executive function and inhibitory control suggest that these deficiencies may play a role in the relation between sleep and behavior regulation and some forms of psychopathology” (p. 414).
Reference: Sadeh, A., Gruber, R., & Raviv, A. (2002). Sleep, neurobehavioral functioning, and behavior problems in school-age children. Child Development, 73, 405-417.