If your children aren’t getting enough sleep on weeknights, they’re not alone. According to a National Survey of Children’s Health, roughly one-third of school-aged children in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep.
The recommended amount of sleep for children 6 to 12 years of age is at least 9 hours on weeknights and or 8 hours for children 13 to 17 years of age. Are your kids getting enough?
If your child is not getting enough sleep, the study showed that they are likely to have less interest in doing well in school. Kids who do get the recommended amount of sleep are also shown to flourish in other ways, including staying calm and in control when challenges arise.
Study researcher Hoi See Tsao, MD, FAAP stated, “Overall, the results showed that if school-age children don’t sleep enough, they are less likely to flourish or show a positive approach towards learning.”
The study also broke down specific characteristics that were common among kids that did not get the recommended amount of sleep.
For children 6 to 12 years of age:
- 61% who slept 8 hours or less did not show interest and curiosity in learning new things;
- 45% did not care whether or not they did well in school;
- 44% were more apt to not complete homework assignments;
- 18% had increased odds of not finishing tasks they start.
For children 13 to 17 years of age:
- 34% higher chance of not showing interest in learning new things;
- 36% had increased odds of not completing their homework assignments;
- 20% were less likely to finish task they started, and
- 34% had less of a chance to stay calm and in control when they were faced with challenges.
How to Help Your Kids Get More Sleep
Ensuring that your kids get the proper amount of sleep will not only help them excel in school, but also be happier about learning and allow them to handle tough situations more effectively. Instead of allowing your children to come home from school for downtime, support them by getting them a snack after school and having them sit down to finish homework followed by the reward of free time.
Often, students who are allowed to have downtime directly after school stay up late to complete assignments; hence not getting the proper amount of sleep.