Study Says Your Kid Probably Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

Are your kids getting enough sleep? Chances are they’re not. According to the Sleep in America study, a study which surveyed family homes, most kids aren’t getting enough sleep. The following lists what sleep experts recommend for children 0 months to 12 years of age, and most kids catch fewer zzz’s than what’s recommended. There are real health benefits for kids who get enough sleep, and there are consequences for too little sleep. Anyway, putting children to bed a bit earlier gives you more time to binge watch Netflix or HBO, so there’s really no downside to getting more sleep.

Infants and Toddlers  

Infants, up to 11 months old, should get between 14 and 15 hours of sleep. According to the study, they’re only averaging 12.7 hours per night. Toddlers are missing out on hours of sleep too. Children, 12 months to 3-years-old, should get 12 to 14 hours of sleep a night, but average only 11.7. Because sleep keeps the heart healthy and promotes healthy growth, more sleep is necessary, but how do parents get their kids to sleep more?

You must consider what is keeping your baby up, and adjust accordingly. You may need darker curtains in the nursery, an earlier bedtime, and a new mattress, pillow, or cradle pad. Not all bedding is created equal. For example, the premium bedding at Moonlight Slumber isn’t made with the spray-on FR chemicals other bedding is. Those chemicals could be keeping baby awake. Additionally, babies may need to be swaddled or encouraged to take more frequent naps.

Preschoolers

Children who are preschool-aged (3 to 5-years) should get between 11 and 13 hours of sleep; however, most average just 10.4 hours. Sleep helps children “fight obesity, avoid colds, and succeed in school,” reports Parents.com. Additionally, sleep helps children be more focused and it boosts learning.

Preschoolers are in one of the most important developmental periods of their lives, and getting enough sleep is going to help them be more focused and healthy. To help your kid get more sleep, establish day and night-time routines, and stick with them. Encourage naps by closing curtains, avoiding television or stimulating devices, eating on a strict schedule. If possible lie down with your child at naptime. If you’re planning on sending your children to a preschool program, make sure it’s one that understands the benefits of a napping schedule.

1st Through 5th Graders

The study lists that children 6 to 10 years old average 9.5 hours of sleep each night, but they should be getting between 10 and 11 hours. Your kid isn’t going to favor an earlier bedtime, but one is necessary. You can help school-aged kids get more sleep by establishing a routine. In some cases, doctor intervention may be necessary.

The sleep environment should be soothing – no television and with comfortable bedding and few distractions. At least one hour before bedtime, all stimulating devices should be turned off (TV, tablets, video game consoles, etc.) Your kid will grow accustomed to your routine over time, so don’t be discouraged if there is a bit of a battle at first. Consistency is key.

5th Grade and Beyond

The amount of sleep children need goes down as they get older. For example, children aged 10 to 13 are recommended to get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep. If your child is only average 7 or 8 hours, you’re already close to your goal. If you move bedtime ahead 1.5 hours, your kid will meet his or her goal of getting enough sleep. Teenagers and adults need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep, which most people do get. If you find your teen isn’t getting enough sleep, encourage an earlier bedtime or later wake-up.

Hey, letting your older kids sleep in is a huge bonus for them. No matter your child’s age, if they aren’t getting enough sleep at night, encourage day time naps. There’s nothing wrong with napping, and it can help your family better reach their sleep goals.

 

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    If it was only that simple putting your kids to bed earlier would mean they sleep longer. My daughter’s son will be 5 yrs old in Sept – you can count how many times he’s slept through the night on one hand. She’s been to sleep clinics with him several times but nothing helps and at the clinics she’s told that she’s doing everything correctly, obviously putting him to bed even earlier isn’t going to help.

  2. Laurie P says:

    very informative post! Pretty sure my 4 yr old is getting enough sleep, we’ve been lucky with good sleepers here!

  3. edmontonjb says:

    I find it surprising that most adults are getting 8-10 hours! I’ve always had good sleepers until they hit grade 5-6 then they want to party all night! In the summer it’s a real struggle with all the kids as it stays light until 11pm where we live. I try to let them sleep in to make up the difference when possible.

    ~Jonnie

  4. Does a nap during the day count towards the hours of sleep a child needs to get?

  5. Pritam pyare says:

    very informative post! Thanks for putting up here, looking forward to apply this.

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