Sleep is good. And more sleep is even better.
We all know it.
If you don't get enough sleep, you will likely be a little grouchy the next day.
If your kids are having some behavior problems, your child's sleep patterns are one of the first things that many experts will have you look at. From the association of ADHD symptoms with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to a new study that will appear in the November issue of Pediatrics, "Impact of Sleep Extension and Restriction on Children's Emotional Lability and Impulsivity," which found "a modest extension in sleep duration was associated with significant improvement in alertness and emotional regulation, whereas a modest sleep restriction had opposite effects."
Specifically, the researchers took a group of 7 to 11 year old kids and either let them sleep a little longer or a little less each day, and then looked at how it affected their behavior. Not surprisingly, they found that getting just over 27 minutes more sleep each night led to a decrease in daytime sleepiness and improvements in emotional liability and restless-impulsive behavior scores. And for those kids who got less sleep had poorer scores.
The study authors concluded that "it is important that parents, educators, and students are provided with sleep education featuring data on the critical impact of sleep on daytime function" and that "sleep must be prioritized, and sleep problems must be eliminated."
Make sure your kids getting enough sleep, keeping in mind that your children's sleep needs are going to depend on their age:
- Preschoolers - 11 hours (including up to 2 hours of daytime sleep in 1 nap)
- School age (6-8 years old) - 10 to 11 hours
- Tweens (9-12 years old) - 10 hours
- Teens - 9 hours
Do your kids get enough sleep? If not, talk to your pediatrician and/or a pediatrician sleep specialist to get some help so that your kids do go to sleep on time and sleep all night. A lot depends on your kids getting a good night's sleep.