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How to Help Ensure Your Students Get Enough Sleep

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Sep 20th 2020

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SUNDAY, Sept. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. parents say their children don't get enough sleep on school nights, an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) survey finds.

It included more than 1,000 parents across the country with children between ages 5 and 18. Parents reported that early school start times (40%), homework (39%), sports (34%) and social media (33%) have a significant impact on the kids' ability to get enough sleep on school nights.

Other factors include hobbies (32%), spending time with friends (29%), chores/jobs (27%), band/music (26%) and clubs (25%).

About one-quarter of parents say their child's bedtime is less consistent due to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Even though students may not need to catch the bus or carpool this school year, they should continue with morning and bedtime routines, including getting up and going to bed at consistent times so they get enough sleep on a regular basis," AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar said in an academy news release.

The vast majority of parents know that sleep affects their child's mood (94%) as well as their physical health (92%), the survey showed.

Research has shown that students who get enough sleep have better attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.

Six- to 12-year-olds should regularly sleep nine to 12 hours a night, while 13- to 18-year-olds should sleep eight to 10 hours, according to the AASM.

As students begin the new school year -- whether in-person, online or both -- incorporating sleep into their routine is crucial for overall health.

Lack of sleep puts children and teens at increased risk for behavior and learning problems, health issues such as diabetes and obesity, and mood and mental health disorders. For teens, insufficient sleep can significantly increase their risk for accidents due to drowsy driving.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on sleep.