In adults, sleep is necessary for the offline improvement of certain skills, such as sequential finger tapping, but whether children show a similar effect is still debatable. Here, we tested whether sleep is associated with offline performance improvement in children. Nine- and 11-year-old children trained on an explicit sequential finger tapping task. On the night following training, their parents observed and recorded the duration of each child's sleep. The following day, all children performed a surprise retest session on the previously trained sequence. In both 9- and 11-year-old children, skill performance was significantly improved during the first retest session relative to the end of training on the previous day, confirming the offline improvement in performance. There was a significant correlation between the degree of improvement and sleep duration the night after training, suggesting that in children, as in adults, sleep is associated with offline skill enhancement.
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