New Study Reveals Health Problems In Children That Lack This

Recent studies at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reveal at least one-fourth of twelve-year-olds do not receive enough sleep. This age group should receive nine hours of sleep nightly. There is growing evidence this lack in slumber is affecting children’s learning abilities and memory.

New Sleeping Recommendations

New sleeping recommendations were recently released in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine for each age group which includes a wider range of hours needed for prolonged health. These new recommendations include all age ranges for children and teenagers. The following endorsements for sleep are included per every twenty-four-hour time period:

  • Infants (4-12 months old) – 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day
  • Children (1-2 years old) – 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day
  • Children (3-5 years old) – 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day
  • Children (6-12 years old) – 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day
  • Teenagers (13-18 years old) – 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day

Sleeping Disorders in Children

Children and teenagers who suffer from sleep disorders are failing in health. For example, it is noted those with sleep apnea are suffering from declining school performance, increased behavioral problems, and possible heart difficulties. Some children are receiving wrong medical diagnoses from physicians (for example, ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

One out of every four kids is affected by insomnia, or the inability to sleep. One in every three preschoolers is suffering from the same challenge. Children with insomnia are suffering academically and are at risk of harming themselves (i.e., suicidal thoughts). Furthermore, the risks of developing other health issues in these youth increase substantially.

Family Support: Promoting Better Sleep

Family dynamics plays a very important role in helping children and teenagers gain the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis. Better quality of sleep will definitely provide improved health status for each individual.

Consider the follow suggestions:

  • Decrease intense activities prior to bedtime
  • Follow very similar sleep schedules through the week (including weekends and vacation time)
  • Control a number of extracurricular activities the child is involved in (limit as needed to ensure proper sleeping time)
  • Remove televisions and electronic devices from sleeping areas (these often emit lights which interfere with onset of sleeping)
  • Keep cell phones in non-sleeping areas at night to prevent distractions

Pediatrician Referrals

Parents are encouraged to talk to their pediatricians regarding sleeping concerns, especially if the child is getting the suggested amount of sleep but still sleepy during the day. This can indicate an underlying sleeping disorder and should be addressed to optimize the health of the child.

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