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Children Sleeping Less Than Recommended

A March 30, 2004 article from Intelihealth states that according to research, children are getting less sleep than they need. The National Sleep Foundation, an independent organization that supports sleep education, announced that its annual survey found that children, from newborns to fifth-graders, are getting one to two hours less sleep every 24 hours than is recommended. Kids who reach for caffeine-containing beverages in the evening can have trouble falling and staying asleep at night, which can make it harder for them to wake up in the morning and stay awake in class

According to the Foundations experts, children ages 3 to 11 months, should be getting 14 to 15 hours of sleep per night. The survey showed on average that age group was getting only 12.7 hours of sleep daily. The poll found that toddlers, age 12 to 35 months, averaged only 11.7 hours of daily sleep, while 12 to 14 hours is the recommended amount.

Richard L. Gelula, the foundation chief executive officer, said in a statement, "Our new poll finds that many children are not sleeping enough and many experience sleep problems. What is troublesome is that the problems start in infancy."

The poll also showed that the parents or caregivers of children are also getting less than the ideal amount of sleep. Among those polled, the average sleep for parents and caregivers was 6.8 hours per night, slightly less than the seven hours that the foundation found in a 2002 poll of adults.