Improving learning and behaviour through sleep

Do you have a child between the ages of 5-11 years with a diagnosis of ADHD?

At the Institute of Education, we are looking at the links between disturbed sleep and difficulties with learning, attention and behaviour in child with ADHD. Lots of research now shows that children without ADHD who are deprived of sleep begin to display ADHD-like behaviours. On top of this, sleeping difficulties and sleep disorders are also commonly reported in ADHD. Therefore it seems sensible that insufficient sleep may be making learning and attention capacities more difficult for children with ADHD.

We have made every effort to make the study as fun for the children and informative for you as possible. It involves monitoring your child’s sleep for a week with an easy to use wristwatch-like device, as well as keeping a sleep diary. This will allow us to see, and let you know, whether your child is a good sleeper or whether they are suffering from any sleep problems. A researcher will also visit you at your home one evening before bed and one morning before school (or at school if this is more convenient) in order to speak to you, and to do some tasks with your child which look at sustained attention and sleep-related learning. All the tasks are presented as games, and the children usually really enjoy themselves!

In addition, we have links with Sleep Scotland, an organisation which has been rolled out across the UK in order to promote good sleep in young children. We will come equipped with lots of helpful advice on how to improve and regulate your child’s sleep and bedtime routine.
We believe this research is extremely important, because it has the potential to lead to non-invasive and cost-effective sleep-based interventions.

If you are interested in hearing more, or taking part in one of our studies please do not hesitate to contact me, Fran Knight ( by any means listed below.


Telephone: 0207 612 6934

Department of Psychology and Human Development,
Institute of Education,
25 Woburn Sq,

Calling all infant scientists!

Are you pregnant or do you have a baby between the ages of 0 to 10 months who has an older brother or sister with autism and/or ADHD?

Studying Autism and ADHD Risk in Siblings (STAARS) is affiliated with the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS), a UK wide network of researchers studying baby siblings. We are working with the baby brothers and sisters of older children with autism, ADHD or typical development. The team is investigating whether there are any differences in development between infants who have brothers or sisters with autism or ADHD and those who do not.

During the visit your baby will complete very short screen-based tasks such as watching faces or colourful animations, as well as taking part in interactive play sessions.  Participation is voluntary and the whole visit is accommodated to your child’s needs.  You will be present throughout. Travel costs to central London (WC1) are reimbursed and special arrangements can be made for families who live further away.

If you have a baby between the ages of 0 to 10 months or are pregnant AND have an older child who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or an attention deficit disorder please contact Janice Fernandes at the Babylab for more details.

The Babylab, Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development
Henry Wellcome Building,
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street. London WC1E 7HX
Tel: 020 7079 0761