Conclusions and implications for early intervention

Regina T. Harbourne, Department of Physical Therapy, John G. Rangos School of Health Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, United States. Electronic address:


Each chapter in this volume supports the assumption that the quantity and quality of sleep is an essential building block for the architecture of learning in early life. Diverse areas affected by sleep include language, motor skills, problem solving, and memory, which show greater improvements when adequate and healthy sleep pervades a child's routine. Studies described in this volume expand our understanding of the impact of sleep both for short term skill improvement and for long-term developmental gains. The interdisciplinary content of this volume brings practical and translational information regarding sleep and learning in young children, including those with special challenges, such as children with Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, attention deficits, or cerebral palsy. In this concluding chapter, key knowledge gaps will be described with an eye toward areas of study that could further build strategies that support early learning and suggest attention to the role of sleep to enhance the effects of early intervention for children with developmental challenges.