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Just like us, the little ones need their rest, especially if you want them to grow into healthy and functioning adults. However, recent research from the CDC has found that children aren’t getting enough sleep at night, and this can not only affect their school life, but also their health.

Children Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

According to a recent report from the CDC, which examined sleep-related findings from 2016 to 2018, 34.9% of children between the ages of 4 months to 17 years are not getting enough sleep.

The findings also revealed those who are minorities, as well as those who come from a lower social-economic background, experience sleeplessness at an even higher rate. Racial insecurity, as well as parents having nontraditional work hours, may be the reasons behind a child’s sleeplessness.

The study also revealed that children with special needs were more likely to not get enough sleep.

Children need to sleep

“Sleep deprived kids have more behavioral problems, more academic problems, more health problems, more risk-taking behaviors, and more anxiety and mood related problems,” Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, told Healthline.

Now while the study does have its limitations, such as the fact that parents were the ones supplying the sleep data, it shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s highlighting a very important issue.

sleep

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Lack of sleep can cause significant issues for adults and their health, so imagine what it can do for growing children. One study, led by a Harvard pediatrician, found that children aged 3 to 7 who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have more issues with attention, emotional control, and relationships in mid-childhood.

How much sleep does my child need?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests the following amounts of sleep per day for children:

  • Infants 4 to 12 Months: 12 to 16 hours, including naps
  • Children 1 to 2 Years Old: 11 to 14 hours, including naps
  • Age 3 to 5 Years Old: 10 to 13 hours, including naps
  • Children 6 to 12 Years Old: 9 to 12 hours
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 Years Old:8 to 10 hours

How can my child sleep better?

If you worry that your child isn’t getting enough sleep, there are a few things that you can do to improve their sleep hygiene.

sleep

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Our biggest tip would be to keep your child on a consistent sleep schedule. For your older children, keep the screens away from them at night and encourage them to stop using devices at least an hour before bedtime.

If any of your children are afraid of the dark, adding a dim night light can definitely help.

Want to know more?

We know pets are good for health and longevity, but did you know that letting your pet sleep on your kid’s bed could actually help your kids sleep better? In fact, children who frequently sleep with their pets experience higher sleep quality.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.