Age Matters for Adequate Sleep
Although many kids stay up late on long summer days, once school starts they should return to their normal sleep routines, experts say.
Adequate sleep is essential to a child’s academic success and overall well-being. Researchers say that 3- to 5-year-olds need at least 11 to 13 hours of shut-eye per night. Five to 12-year-olds need at least 10 or 11 hours a night.
From memory to judgment, attention span, emotional stability and even immunity, sleep deprivation negatively affects school-age children.
As for adolescents, it’s a common myth that they need less sleep and can handle only seven or eight hours. They actually need nine hours of sleep. Adolescents are typically the most sleep-deprived age group in school.
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 60 percent of children under the age of 18 complained of being tired during the day. Moreover, 15 percent admitted to falling asleep at school.
Ditch the Devices
Anticipating the first weeks of school, experts say children should start going to bed earlier to avoid these feelings of daytime sleepiness and ensure a smooth transition back to the classroom.
Since missed hours of sleep can add up and have detrimental effects on children, experts recommend that parents remove electronic devices from their child’s room, making it as calm and peaceful as possible.
On average, there are three to four electronic gadgets in a kid’s room. Research shows that even sleeping with a television on deprives a child of 20 minutes of sleep per night. That may not sound like a lot, but adds up over a week’s time.
We’re Here to Help
The Methodist Sleep Diagnostic Center offers specialized care for youth (age 13 and older) with sleep disorders. Call (865) 835-3810 for more information or visit www.mmcoakridge.com/sleep.