Often, it is hard to figure out how much sleep your child needs, and sometimes it’s hard just to figure out if you as parents are getting the right amount of sleep that you need. The most recent employment status survey from Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that over 60% of households have both parents working. Often working and single parents get the least amount of sleep, this can also roll over to the amount of sleep that children are getting.
Many studies have shown the negative impacts of sleep deprivation and irregular sleep patterns in children. A recent study in Japan looked at over eight thousand 5 year olds, and found a strong link to irregular sleep patterns and behavior problems such as anxiety, development, anger, tics, and urinary and bowel habits.
As children get older, “regular sleep deprivation often leads to some pretty difficult behaviors and health problems—irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression.” - From the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children need a good night’s sleep and a steady routine. Below are some scientifically proven guidelines provided by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which are also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When looking to see how much sleep a child needs and is getting, it is important to look at the amount of sleep within a 24 hour period, this is inclusive of nighttime sleeping and daytime naps.
Some factors that can affect sleep structure, include but are not limited to
Lack of routine
Lack of partner/family/friend support
Feeding/drinking habits prior to bedtime
For Children, proper sleep allows them to be at their best, as it literally improves their mental health, immune system, and retention skills, leading to better school grades, a decrease in temper tantrums and a happier home environment.