The Sleep Needs of Children and Teenagers

May 24, 2011 

An article in The New York Times on Monday, May 23, 2011 by Jane Brody, answers the question “How much sleep does my child really need?” and helps parents figure out whether their children are actually getting the required amount of sleep each night.

In the article, Ms. Brody also discusses why it is that so many teens are constantly tired, groggy, have difficulty concentrating, and are generally not getting enough rest. While some of the problems rest with the schedule that schools are on, which in many ways conflicts with teens’ sleep cycles, there are also some things parents can do to help their teens get more sleep. Some of them are listed here:

Parents should identify and set “an appropriate bedtime.”

To help establish an acceptable sleep-wake cycle, teenagers should avoid bright light and stimulating activities in the evening and get light exposure in the morning.

Families should establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals, reminiscent of the bedtime stories of early childhood.

To read the complete New York Times article, click here.


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