Are your kids getting enough sleep?

Are your kids getting enough sleep?

Are your children getting enough sleep? Most kids aren’t.

That’s 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. And, 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’s 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.

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About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!