THE average child receives between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, but health clinics say this isn't enough.
Studies show parents often don't know how much sleep their children need, resulting in poor test scores, reduced concentration, and less cognitive function.
How much sleep do children need?
The amount of sleep a child needs varies by age group and if they don't receive enough shut-eye, it can affect their cognitive development, according to the Cleveland Health Clinic.
In the age group of 5-year-old to 12-year-old children, the Cleveland Health Clinic says they need 9 to 12 hours of sleep every night, however, the average amount of sleep is much less.
Each age group's needs vary, resulting in a lessened amount of sleep as the child gets older.
Newborn (0-3 months old): 14-17 hours of sleep
Infant (4-11 months old): 12-15 hours of sleep
Toddler (1-2 years old): 11-14 hours of sleep
Preschool (3-5 years old): 10-13 hours of sleep
School-age (6-13 years old): 9-11 hours of sleep
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The number of hours children need to sleep includes naps taken during the day and incorporates an earlier bedtime.
An insufficient amount of sleep correlates to "obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and problems with attention and behavior," according to the CDC website.
How do you know if your child is getting enough sleep?
If your child isn't getting enough sleep, it can make waking them up in the morning pretty difficult.
The child may not wake up when their alarm goes off, or it could take their parent or guardian several tries to get them out of bed.
Other signs your child isn't getting enough sleep include complaining of being tired during the day, taking frequent afternoon naps, or excessively sleeping in on the weekends.
Additionally, their schoolwork may suffer from their inability to focus and remain attentive during school resulting in poor grades and their overall academic performance.
What can you do to make sure your child gets enough sleep?
Fortunately, there are remedies to ensure your child gets enough hours of sleep each night.
- Set an earlier bedtime for your child that will align with the number of hours of sleep they need each night. You can start by reducing their bedtime gradually by 15-20 minutes each night.
- Keep their sleep schedule regular, including on the weekends. Make sure your child keeps the same bedtime and wakeup time every day.
- Take away all electronics at least 60 minutes before bedtime.
- Don't give your child caffeinated or sugary drinks in the hours leading up to their bedtime.
- Make sure your child is active throughout the day so they sleep easier at night.
Setting a good example for your child by keeping a regular sleep schedule for yourself can also reinforce the new sleep regimen you're setting for them.
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