As adults, we all know that without a good night’s sleep, we’re going to be struggling to get through the day’s activities. When we’re not running on all rested cylinders, small troubles seem like mountains, being able to focus and complete a project is difficult and nodding off while driving is more likely to happen.
Restful sleep is a wonderful thing and unfortunately, many of us just aren’t getting enough.
Most adults know about how much sleep they need the night before to feel their best the next day. Children, on the hand, need a certain amount of sleep depending on their age.
For the first time, a new set of sleep guidelines specially tailored to children, have been released from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The new recommendations give a precise number of hours for each age range, spanning from infancy up until 18 years old.
"Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood," said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a statement. "It is especially important as children reach adolescence to continue to ensure that teens are able to get sufficient sleep."
A team of 13 top sleep experts conducted a 10-month research project to find out how much sleep children actually need. The team reviewed 864 published scientific articles that revealed the link between sleep duration and the health of children across all age categories.
Here’s what they found:
· Infants between 4-12 months of age should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep for any 24-hour period. This includes naps.
· Children between 1 and 2 years of age need 11 to 13 hours for every 24-hour period.
· Children between 3 and 5 years old need a little less at 10 to 13 hours per 24-hour period.
· Children between 6 and 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours of sleep – not including naps- in a 24-hour period.
· Teens between 13 and 18 years old need 8 to 10 hours per 24-hour period.
All told, babies, kids, and teens spend roughly 40 percent of their childhood asleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
The panel points out that the right amount of shut-eye is critical for a child’s developing brain and body and overall mental and physical health.
Researchers also noted that when children do not get enough sleep, their behavior is affected and their long-term health can be negatively impacted.
"Adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote. "Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity and depression, especially for teens who may experience increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts."
According to Dr. Nathaniel Watson, the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, making sure that their child gets enough sleep is one of the best ways parents can lay a foundation of healthy habits that children can take with them into adulthood. With more than one third of the adult population sleep deprived, sleep becomes paramount for children to avoid the slew of consequences that come with a lifetime of sleep problems.
"The AAP endorses the guidelines and encourages pediatricians to discuss these recommendations and healthy sleep habits with parents and teens during clinical visits," they announced. "For infants and young children, establishing a bedtime routine is important to ensuring children get adequate sleep each night.”
Story source: Samantha Olson, http://www.medicaldaily.com/how-much-sleep-do-kids-need-sleeping-baby-constantly-tired-389448