Many kids not getting the sleep they need

Study finds a majority of parents are not enforcing good bedtime rules

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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The National Sleep Foundation recommends kids between 6 and 10 years old get at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. But a new study finds a majority of kids are not getting the recommended amount, and bad bedtime routines may be to blame.

 "The parents are quite aware that sleep is an issue. Sleep is important, yet their kids aren't getting enough sleep," said Dr. Jyoti Krishna, who treats pediatric sleep disorders at Cleveland Clinic.

University of Chicago researchers polled parents about their children's bedtime behaviors. They found 72 percent of parents say their children have at least one electronic device in the bedroom while they are sleeping, which can impair the amount of sleep a child gets.

"We do know that light in the eyes hampers or delays melatonin rhythms, which is an essential sleep hormone that makes us sleep at night," said Krishna.

34 percent of parents say evening activities, including homework, push back their child's bedtime.  And 92 percent of parents polled say they've set up one or more sleep-related rules, but only 62 percent of parents say they enforce them.

Krishna says parents can start establishing better bedtimes by making sleep a priority.

"Things are going to be different every day and life gets in the way, but I think if you don't set priorities and bedtime being one of them, you're going to lose out on sleep in the end."

You can see all of the poll numbers on the National Sleep Foundation's website at

Although sleep needs vary from person to person, here are sleep guidelines by age from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:


16 - 18 hours a day
Preschool-aged children11 - 12 hours a day
School-aged childrenAt least 10 hours a day 
Teens9 - 10 hours a day
Adults (including the elderly) 7 - 8 hours a day


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