a plate with grilled sea bass and a lemon, eat fish

According to the old wives, fish is supposed to be brain food. They have just been proved right again, at least in part. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that kids who eat fish about once a week perform better on IQ tests (Liu et al, Scientific Reports, online, Dec. 21, 2017).

Do Kids Who Eat Fish Sleep Better?

The investigators studied 541 Chinese school children who were enrolled in 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Food questionnaires sought information about fish intake. The students were queried about how often they eat fish in a typical month.

Fish consumption alone was not enough. The investigators also assessed sleep quality by asking parents to report on things like sleep-onset delay, sleep duration and daytime sleepiness.

They determined intelligence using the Chinese equivalent of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. The kids who ate fish at least once a week scored almost 5 points on their IQ tests compared to the children who hardly ever ate fish.

Those who consumed fish more frequently also slept better. This may help explain some of the brain benefits, since adequate sleep is crucial for learning. Previous research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids that are abundant in cold-water fish are linked to better sleep quality.

The authors conclude:

“this is the first study to indicate that frequent fish consumption may help reduce sleep problems (better sleep quality), which may in turn benefit long-term cognitive functioning in children.”

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.