Catch Some Zzzzs

Experts generally recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night – a goal most people fail to achieve. What about your children? How much sleep should they be getting?

In a study that followed nearly 1,500 Canadian children from birth to age 6, researchers discovered that those who slept less than 10 hours per night in their preschool years were more likely to show problems with their verbal and spatial skills when they entered school. They also tended to be more hyperactive and impulsive than their less sleep-deprived peers.

Overall, children who persistently underslept were three times more likely to score poorly on a standard language test than children who consistently slept at least 10 hours nightly. Even if children increased their sleep time as they got older, the risk of hyperactivity and poor visual/spatial skills remained. Thus, experts recommend that preschool-age children sleep 11 to 13 hours per night; children ages 5 to 12 years should sleep 10 to 11 hours; and teens should get 9 hours per night.

Sleep has the power to refresh and restore, and it can help keep you and your family functioning at your best. Make sure your children are ready for life’s challenges by ensuring they sleep at least 10 hours per night, particularly if they are age 3 or younger.

Sources: Your Health Newsletter (

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