Sleep and human cognitive development

Sleep Med Rev. 2021 Jun:57:101472. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101472. Epub 2021 Mar 13.


Emerging studies across learning domains have shed light on mechanisms underlying sleep's benefits during numerous developmental periods. In this conceptual review, we survey recent studies of sleep and cognition across infancy, childhood, and adolescence. By summarizing recent findings and integrating across studies with disparate approaches, we provide a novel understanding of sleep's role in human cognitive function. Collectively, these studies point to an interrelation between brain development, sleep, and cognition. Moreover, we point to gaps in our understanding, which inform the agenda for future research in developmental and sleep science.

Keywords: Childhood; Cognition; Development; Infancy; Memory; Naps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Sleep*