I have always struggled to sleep! Since I was a child, I struggled to fall asleep and then woke early. I always felt rested, but I also felt like sleep was wasting so much of my life! When I was about 7 years old, I compromised with my parents that I would sleep if they let me play Spanish cassette tapes while I slept so I could try to learn Spanish while I slept! (It didn't work by the way!)
As I grew older and learned about giftedness, I wondered whether sleep patterns were associated with being gifted. I often encounter gifted individuals in my practice who have similar difficulty with sleep. I also see this in my own children.
So I was excited to see two new research studies recently released on sleep patterns among gifted populations. Unfortunately, their findings were not completely aligned. One found that gifted children are significantly more likely to experience sleep difficulties than their peers while the other did not find significant differences in sleep patterns between gifted and non-gifted children. Both studies had small sample sizes, which could be one explanation for the different findings.
Ultimately, more research is needed in this area. It would be interesting to see how these findings change according to age groups and across the lifespan!
Sleep characteristics and socio-emotional functioning of gifted children. August 2021. Takeaway: Gifted children are more likely than peers to experience sleep difficulties.
Sleep behaviors and handedness in gifted and non-gifted children (Sept 2021) did not find significant differences in sleep patterns between gifted and non-gifted children.