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Keywords:

  • children;
  • concentration;
  • school functioning;
  • sleep

This study describes the relationship of time in bed and quality of sleep with concentration and functioning at school. Neurotic and psychosomatic symptoms have been used as control variables. The sample consisted of 449 Dutch children in the seventh and eighth grades of elementary school. The age of the children varied between 9 y 5 mo and 14 y 5 mo. Seven schools participated in the research, with a total of 18 classes. The results indicated that 43% of the children had difficulty getting up in the morning. Furthermore, 15% of the children reported sleep problems and 25% did not feel rested at school. Time in bed and sleep quality show no relationship with concentration. Sleep quality, feeling rested at school and less distinct bedtimes were clearly related to school functioning. Another result was that children who had no difficulty getting up displayed more achievement motivation. Being open to the teacher’s influence and achievement motivation depended mainly on sleep characteristics. Not getting bored at school, self-image as a pupil and control over aggressive behaviour were also influenced by gender, age, neuroticism and neurosomaticism.