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The importance of sleep in children

If you have children under the age of 21, consider this article from The Guardian a must read. It explains just how important sleep is for children and the consequences of not getting enough sleep. Some key points from the article:

  • 90% of American parents think their child is getting enough sleep but 60% of children in high school report extreme daytime sleepiness.
  • Children now get an hour less sleep every night than they did 30 years ago.
  • A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive maturation and development.
  • Sleep deprivation has been linked to the obesity epidemic and the rise of attention deficit ­hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Sleep disorders can ­impair children's IQ as much as lead ­exposure.
  • One school changed its start time from 7.25am to 8.30am - Math Sat scores rose 56 points, verbal Sat scores rose 156 points. Yet 85% of America's public high schools start before 8.15am, and 35% start at or before 7.30am.

Frankly, I was shocked at how much even the tiniest reduction in sleep negatively impacted a child's concentration and academic ability.

It's clear that we need to be far more aware of our children's sleeping habits and, from an academic standpoint, give sleep as much (if not more) priority as completing homework and taking part in extra-curricular activities.

How aware are you of your children's sleep routine? Are you confident they're getting enough sleep? Is ensuring your child gets enough sleep high on your priority list? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Improve your sleep in two weeks: Over 5,000 insomniacs have completed my free insomnia sleep training course and 97% of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend. Learn more here.

Last updated: December 16, 2014

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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