Are My Children Getting Enough Sleep?
Since my twin boys went to preschool last autumn, they don`t get to nap anymore at midday like they did at the daycare. Thus, evenings would find them crabby and exhausted and without appetite. So now I make it a point to put them in bed by 8 pm so they can be up at 6:30 the following morning to be ready for the 45-minute commute to school.
This early bedtime, however, cuts into the time they spend with their dad in the evenings. Daddy questioned the necessity of this schedule change so I did some research on the sleep requirements of kids. Here is what I found out:
According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), pre-schoolers need about 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night while school-aged children between 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night.
According to a research published in the January 2008 issue of the journal Sleep, the average sleeping time of kids is 10.9 hours. Lack of nightly sleep in children is linked to weight and behavioural problems.
Furthermore, researchers also observed that sleeping patterns of kids can vary depending on a lot of factors:
? Kids sleep more on weekdays than on weekends.
? Kids with younger siblings sleep longer than those who don`t.
? Kids who go to bed after 9 pm sleep less.
? Kids sleep less in summer compared to other times of the year.
Armed with these facts, my husband and I can now try to find the right balance between sleep duration and quality time with our kids.