Just 50% of American Children Get Sufficient Sleep on Week Nights

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October 28, 2019
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A unique, newly released study indicates that school children who sleep for 9 hours on the majority of week nights, benefit from: “more interest in learning and doing well in school, along with other markers of childhood flourishing”. This is very important news, and hopefully, something which can drive parents to make any necessary changes, to ensure that their children are going to lead their best lives.

The Reality

According to new findings that were discussed at the New Orleans AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) National Conference & Exhibition, earlier this month: “only 48% of school age children in the U.S. get 9 hours of sleep most week nights. Those who do, the study suggests, are significantly more likely to show a positive outlook toward school and other signs of childhood flourishing, a measure of behavioral and social well-being”.

One of the study’s lead authors, Hoi See Tsao, MD, FAAP, noted: “chronic sleep loss is a serious public health problem among children. Insufficient sleep among adolescent, for example, is associated with physical and mental health consequences including increased risk of depression and obesity and negative effects on mood, attention and academic performance. As healthcare providers, we want every child to reach his/her full potential. Our research shows that children who get enough sleep are more likely to demonstrate measures of childhood flourishing in comparison to children with insufficient sleep”.

The Scale of the Study

Outcomes from the combined National Survey of Children’s Health (2016 to 2017), were analyzed by scientists. These comprised: feedback from the caregivers and parents of  around 49,050 children aged 6 to17 years of age. The parents/caregivers replied to inquiries regarding the number of hours sleep a randomly chosen youngster in their care, would spend sleeping on an average week night. “Sufficient sleep was defined as sleeping greater than, or equal to 9 hours on an average week night”.

Overwhelming Results

The study scientists determined that in terms of getting sufficient sleep: “47.6% of the 6 to 17-year-old children, was positively associated with several individual flourishing markers, as well as the combined childhood flourishing measure”. Furthermore, when analyzed against the findings for the youngsters who did not receive 9 hours sleep on the majority of week nights, those with an average of 9 hours sleep displayed: “a 44% increase in odds of showing interest and curiosity in learning new things, 33% increased odds of doing all required homework; 28% increased odds of caring about doing well in school; 14% increased odds of working to finish tasks started, and 12% increased odds of demonstrating the combined flourishing measure”.

Recommendations For Giving Your Children a Brighter Future

When speaking about how vital it is to ensure that youngsters receive the recommended number of hours sleep for their age group, Dr. Tsao remarked: “this study reinforces the importance of increasing efforts to help children get the recommended amount of sleep for their age. And efforts should especially focus on digital media usage, bedtime routines, the length of the school day and school start times”

Shirley Amy is a Holistic Health Specialist and professional writer who’s published 4 books. Her  interests include optimum wellness, mental health, fitness, and positive lifestyle change. She holds University and College qualifications in the fields of Health Science, Nutrition, Mental Health, Fitness, Holistic Therapy and Aromatherapy.