ARE YOUR KIDS GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP? By: Evonne Woloshyn, Submitted by Kathy O’Neill RN, Parish Nurse
Are your children getting enough sleep? Most kids are not.
That is according to research recently presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 National Conference. A survey of nearly 50,000 parents and caregivers of children between the ages 6-17 provided insight into chronic sleep loss.
The study found that only 48% of school-age children get nine hours of sleep on most weeknights. In addition, according to researchers, those children who did get sufficient sleep were more positive about school and showed greater signs of “childhood flourishing” in behaviors and social well-being. Insufficient sleep, particularly in teenagers, is a risk factor for depression, obesity and declining academic performance.
How much sleep should your child get? The National Sleep Foundation offers these guidelines:
- Ages 3-5 (10-13 hours)
- Ages 6-13 (9-11 hours)
- Ages 14-17 (8-10 hours)
“Parents can help their children get ready for sleep,” says Dr. Innessa Donskoy, a pediatric sleep medicine at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “First, avoid light exposure from television, smart phones and computers thirty to sixty minutes before bed. The bedtime routine should be consistent; a calming and positive experience. And, kids should also learn to fall asleep on their own.”
Dr. Donskoy adds that it is important for children to have a consistent wake time. By doing so, the morning sun directly influences the child’s internal clock and helps with the onset of sleep that evening.