New findings from the University of Pennsylvania show that children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have 4 points higher IQs than those who consume fish less frequently or not at all.
Earlier studies have also showed that omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish, improve intelligence and help to sleep better.
However, this study, published today in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, reveal an important connection between all of them: sleep can be the potential missing link between fish and intelligence.
“This area of research is not well-developed. It’s emerging,” said ianghong Liu, lead author on the paper and an associate professor of nursing and public health. “Here we look at omega-3s coming from our food instead of from supplements.”
The team recruited 542 Chinese children ages 9 to 11 (54 percent boys and 46 percent girls) to answer questionnaires about how often they ate fish over four weeks.
The options ranged from never to at least once a week. The participants then took the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, which is a Chinese IQ test designed to measure verbal and nonverbal skills.
fish and higher IQ and better sleep
Their parents then answered questions about sleep quality of their children – sleep duration and frequency of night waking or daytime sleepiness.
The result of this experiment showed that children who reported eating fish weekly had 4.8 points higher IQ scores than those who ate fish “seldom” or “never”.
Other children Those whose ate fish meals from time to time – scored 3.3 points higher IQ scores.
Additional interesting observation, made during this study is that increased fish consumption was associated with fewer disturbances of sleep, which the researchers say indicates better overall sleep quality.
“Lack of sleep is associated with antisocial behavior; poor cognition is associated with antisocial behavior,” said Penn Professor Adrian Raine.