Good Night, Sleep Tight–The Importance of Sleep

Why do so many of us have problems with sleep? As a culture, it seems we undervalue sleep and rest, in general. Perhaps we feel to rest and get a full night’s sleep is lazy. “We need to get everything done. Who has time for sleep?” It’s taking a toll on us. It’s also taking a toll on our children. So often parents come to see me with concerns about their child’s behavior. “He won’t listen.” “She’s irritable and can’t sit still.” When I ask about sleep I often hear that the child is staying up very late, has no regular bedtime routine, or is 8 years old and still sleeping with his parents, usually his/her mother. The child and parents are all over tired. If we’re going to handle significant behavior issues, we have to first begin with basics. The child needs to be eating healthy food, getting plenty of exercise and fresh air, and enough sleep regularly. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

  • Toddlers, 1-3 years old, should get 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.
  • Preschoolers, 3-5 years old, should get 11-13 hours of sleep per night.
  • Kids 5-12 years old should get 10-11 hours per night.
  • Teenagers should get 8.5-9 + hours per night.
Are your kids getting enough sleep?  Are YOU ?  What gets in the way of you and your children sleeping well?  Next time I’ll share some tips for helping your child and yourself get a better night’s rest.

About Gretchen Derda (Woosley), MSW, LCSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a private psychotherapy practice where I specialize in work with families and children. My focus is to help families improve their functioning so that each member of the family can reach their full potential, becoming the persons they were meant to be.
This entry was posted in adolescent mental health, child mental health, parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Good Night, Sleep Tight–The Importance of Sleep

  1. Emily says:

    I see a huge difference in my boys when they do not get enough sleep!
    But, luckily this is not often.
    I was hard core about making my kids learn to comfort themselves and put themselves to sleep at an early age.
    I hope I did them right!
    The sleep hours you posted will be very helpful to others.

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