Scientists: Kids have never gotten enough sleep

Sleeping is one of my favorites things to do, but I don't think I get enough of it now that I have children. I've always been a great sleeper and I very rarely have issues falling asleep or staying asleep, although I'm a much lighter sleeper than before I became a mom. Luckily, I was blessed with two very good sleepers too, so the question of whether my children are getting enough sleep has never really worried me that much. A good thing, considering a report on the March issue of Pediatrics says that kids have never really gotten the recommended amount of sleep.



Researchers from the University of South Australia analyzed sleep recommendations and what was known about actual sleep time over more than a century and found that recommendations for how much sleep children should get has almost always been higher than how much sleep they actually get. In other words, it's "as if children always needed extra sleep, no matter how much they were actually getting."

So it seems like nobody knows for sure how much sleep children should really get as sleep recommendation are based more on guesses than on actual science. The answer as to whether your children are getting enough sleep, then, lies more on whether or not they act rested and refreshed after they wake up in the morning. 

But, in case you'd still like to know what the current sleep recommendations are, check out what the National Sleep Foundation has to say about it: Infants (3-11 months old) should get between 14 and 15 hours of sleep. For toddlers (1-3 years old) the recommendation is between 12 and 14 hours of sleep. Preschoolers (3-5 years old) should get between 11 and 13 hours. For school-age children (5-10 years old) it's between 10 to 11 hours and teenagers (10-17 years old) should get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep.

As someone who loves sleeping, I'm all for my children getting as much shuteye as possible — especially if that means I'll be able to sleep in on the weekends!

 How do you know if your children are getting enough sleep? What do you think of the report's findings? Do you follow the current recommendations?

Image via Jaime Nicolau/flickr




Topics: latino health  mental health  child rearing  niños  parents and children