I can’t tell you how many times I worked with teens and realized they were sleeping less than I was! Kids and teens need more sleep than adults do and it is starting to be a real problem.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sleep recommendations for school-age children and teenagers have changed and kids might not be getting enough rest. Here is information about kids and sleep.
How much is sleep should kids get?
Scientists aren’t quite sure, but the Pediatrics study revealed that in the last century the suggested amount has changed. The study compared trends in medical and parenting wisdom and found great variance. From 1897 to 2009, about a minute was shaved off the recommended time per year. Only one of the studies compared by Pediatrics was based on medical evidence, says Parents magazine.
What is the current recommended amount?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elementary school-age kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep and kids ages 10 to 17 need 8.5 to 9.25 hours daily.
How much sleep does the average child get?
Kid’s Health says children ages 5 to 12 get an average of 9.5 hours of sleep at night. A 2006 survey from the National Sleep Foundation found kids ages 11 to 17 were getting less than eight hours per night. The Pediatrics study backed up that information; whatever the current recommended amount was per year, most kids got about 37 minutes less than that. I was working with students getting around 5-6 a night because they were up late doing homework and on their computers. The Pediatrics study backed up that information; whatever the current recommended amount was per year, most kids got about 37 minutes less than that.
What are the risks from lack of sleep?
According to NSF , kids who don’t get enough sleep don’t do as well in school. They tend to have more behavior problems. Kids who don’t rest well are at risk for obesity, frequent illness and autoimmune problems, too.
Why are so many kids sleep-deprived?
There are several health reasons such as complications from medicine, illness, insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea and disturbed circadian rhythms, says WebMD. Teenagers often prefer to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. Parents are advised to discuss any health problems with their pediatrician. Many sleep problems in children are environmental and within a parent’s power to impact, too. I also think many adults are sleep deprived and if we aren’t taking care of our sleep needs how can we expect our children too. The pharmaceutical industry for sleep medicine is a very lucrative business these days, but what is really going on that we can’t sleep?
How can parents help kids sleep better?
Parents can do like establish a regular bedtime, create a restful environment and remove a TV. Phones, and Computers from a child’s room. Parents should put children to bed drowsy but not fully asleep. This helps children get to sleep better if they awaken during the night. Kids should avoid foods and beverages with caffeine, especially before bed. As for bedtime drinks, a little is fine. Scary movies can cause restlessness as can taking vitamins or exercising before bed. Parents are advised to check medications for ingredients that cause sleeplessness. Children should also use the bed only for sleep.