Monday, February 22, 2010

Are your children getting enough sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep is vital to our health and well-being. During sleep, the release of growth hormone (GH) is stimulated.  GH is involved in the physiological functions like bone, muscle and collagen turnover, fat metabolism and maintenance of a healthy body in later life.  For a growing child, sleep is very important.  Sleep disorder is one of the major health concerns in almost all countries.  Our children are not exempted from this health-related problem.  Nowadays, children are up late because they are watching those late night telenovelas, playing computer or video games, simply studying their lessons, doing their home works or just participating in some other activities.
Unfortunately, lack of adequate sleep in children can affect their mood and behavior during daytime.  The children are usually sleepy all day in school.  Other symptoms of sleep related problems include irritability,  mood swings, depression, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, memory problems and a decreased attention span. All these may lead to school and discipline problems.
So how much sleep is required for our children?  The Sleep Center of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin recommends the following:

  • Newborns to 18 months:  10-18 hours of sleep a day (including naps)
  • 18 months to 3 years:  12 - 14 hours a day ( including naps)
  • 3 to 5 years:  11 -13 hours a night
  • 5 to 12 years:  9 - 11 hours a night
  • Teens:  9 hours a night
Now that we know about the sleep requirements for our children, please check if they are getting enough sleep.  If they are, well and good!  ;)

photo credit:


Lina Gustina said...

Thanks for sharing this, all parents should know this...
A cute picture :)

JENIE said...

truth is that's my problem with my kid...she refuses to sleep! as much as she can, she try to stay awake. glad i was able to make her take a nap again these last few weeks...and her nighttime sleep?