Daily Recommended Sleep for Children and Adolescents Ages 5 to 19
How do you know if your child's weight gain is normal and when it's leading to childhood obesity? Children, unlike adults, need extra nutrients and calories to fuel their growth and development. So if they consume about the number of calories they need for daily activities, growth and metabolism, they add pounds in proportion to their added inches. But children who eat more calories than they need gain weight beyond what's needed to support their growing frames. In these cases, the added weight increases their risk of obesity and weight-related health problems.
How do you get your child to bed through the cries, screams, avoidance tactics, and pleas? How should you respond when you're awakened in the middle of the night? Some children awaken before their parents do, usually between 5 and 6 AM. They are well rested and raring to go. They come out of their rooms or call out from their cribs and want everyone to wake up. They are excited about the new day and want to share it with their parents. If the parents don't respond, they make a racket. Such children are early morning risers.
Normal health, development, and performance require normal sleep. However, millions of Americans fail to get an adequate night's sleep due to sleep disorders. Such disorders contribute to depression, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, learning disorders, chronic pain, and motor vehicle accidents.And how much sleep is enough for your child? It all depends on your child's age.Sleep is very important to a child's well-being. The link between a child's lack of sleep and his or her behavior isn't always obvious. When adults are tired, they can either be grumpy or have low energy, but kids can become hyper, disagreeable, and have extremes in behavior.
Children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight than those who get more, according to a study published on Wednesday that tracked more than 2,000 U.S. kids for five years.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, used detailed diaries kept by families to examine children's sleep behavior and its relationship with weight.
"Children who get less sleep tend to weigh more five years later," lead researcher Emily Snell said in an interview.
Snell and colleagues Emma Adam and Greg Duncan determined that an extra hour of sleep cut the likelihood of being overweight from 36 percent to 30 percent in children ages 3 to 8, and from 34 to 30 percent in those ages 8 to 13.
The study, published in the journal Child Development, involved 2,281 children taking part in a nationally representative survey. They were ages 3 to 12 at the start of the study in 1997. Follow-up data was collected five years later.
The diaries recorded the number of hours the kids slept, what time they went to bed and what time they woke up. Their height and weight also were recorded.
The researchers found that children who got less sleep were more likely to be overweight and have higher body mass index measures than those who got more sleep, even when factors such as race, ethnicity and parents' income and educational level were considered.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS :
The study noted that sleep experts recommend that children ages 5 to 12 sleep for 10 to 11 hours a night and adolescents ( ages of 10 and 19 years) sleep for 8 to 9 hours. But the researchers said children in the study at age 7 on average got less than 10 hours of sleep on weekdays and at age 14 got 8.5 hours of sleep on weekdays.
The study did not examine why children who slept less tended to weigh more, but Snell cited a few possible explanations.
Not getting enough sleep may affect hormones that influence appetite, Snell said. Getting less sleep -- for example, staying up an hour later at night -- may provide more opportunity to eat, she added. And she said not getting enough sleep may leave a person more lethargic, cutting down on exercise.
Snell said on weekdays, school schedules can dictate when children must wake up, but parents can control bedtime.
"Particularly for younger children who need 10 to 11 hours of sleep at night, if their wake-up time has to be 6:30 or 7 (a.m.) for school, we encourage parents to sort of aim for the 8 o'clock hour for bedtime," Snell said.
The researchers noted there is growing evidence linking sleep to children's cognitive and social functioning, with previous research connecting sleep problems and too little sleep to maladjustment in preschoolers and depression and school problems in adolescents.
Note; the time of night when your toddler begins to show signs of sleepiness, and try establishing this as his or her regular bedtime. And you don't have to force a 2- or 3-year-old child to nap during the day unless yours gets cranky and overly tired.Avoid being readily available to a child during the night. Otherwise, the child may become dependent on attention and become sleepless if deprived of it. For children who have trouble falling asleep, try to make sure that the child is not disturbed by unnecessary noise. Avoid sending a child to bed as punishment which can result in poor sleep caused by fear.
Parents sometimes make the mistake of thinking that keeping a child up will make him or her sleepier for bedtime. In fact, though, kids can have a harder time sleeping if they're overtired.