High school is when children’s sleep inches closer to the amount recommended for adults, but you may need to sound the alarm if they cut back too much because of all their homework and extracurricular activities.
Pediatric and sleep professionals aren’t hitting the snooze button on a recent report urging parents to ensure their children are getting enough sleep.
Eight to 10 hours a day are recommended for children ages 14 to 18.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s June 2016 report that emphasizes the importance of children of all ages getting enough sleep each night. The Pediatrics academy also recommends removing TVs and computers from children’s rooms and turning off screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
But what if your child winds down with the TV at night? And what if homework creeps into the wee hours?
Those are critical questions the Pediatrics academy encourages you to ask your child’s doctor during annual exams. The doctor should be able to offer suggestions on how to help your child get the appropriate hours of shut-eye.
Quality rest improves attention spans, behavior and the ability to focus and learn, according to study. It’s also easier to regulate emotions and be more physically fit.
In contrast, children who don’t regularly log enough hours often show an increase in injuries, high blood pressure, obesity and depression. This is especially true of teens experiencing suicidal thoughts or are at risk of self-harm.
• Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
• American Academy of Pediatrics