Q. How do I know if my 6-year old is getting enough sleep? She goes to sleep at 8:30 p.m., but I have to wake her up at 6:30 for school the next morning. Even though I would like her to get 11 hours of sleep each night, she just cannot fall asleep before 8:30.
Sleep issues are one of the most common concerns that parents express, beginning in infancy and continuing throughout the teenage years. Parents frequently perceive that their child is not getting enough sleep. A recent article in the journal Pediatrics titled, Never Enough Sleep: A Brief History of Sleep Recommendations for Children, showed that parental perceptions of insufficient sleep date back for at least a century.
The amount of recommended sleep for children varies according to age. The National Sleep Foundation says children between the ages of 5-12 should be getting 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. However, this range indicates that some children in this age group may require only 10 hours of sleep while others need 11.
Therefore, these ranges should be used as a general guideline, along with signs of sleep deprivation. Some of theses include falling asleep during the day, difficulty waking in the morning, irritability, moodiness and emotional changes. Being well-rested is essential for good health in children. Sleep deprivation has been associated with school problems, obesity, and behavioral issues. For more information about sleep recommendations for children, visit the Naitonal Sleep Foundation.