Importance to Kids of a Good Night’s Sleep

Written by eHealth Navigator

Young athletes who don't get enough sleep may experience difficulty competing in sports.

According to the National Sleep Foundation as many as two-thirds of children suffer from sleep problems.  For children who play sports, lack of sleep can affect performance from both physical and cognitive standpoints.  Not getting enough sleep can slow muscle recovery, and cognitive problems may include difficulty concentrating, delayed thinking or reaction time.

Most people associated sleep problems with adults, but kids can experience them too.  These disorders affect people at all stages of life.

One culprit behind sleep problems for both children and adults is overstimulation.  Exercising too late in the evening or too close to bedtime can hinder your ability to get a full night of sleep.  If your child likes to staying up late to play action oriented video games or exercise suggest he or she rise earlier to do the activity before school.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the best amount of sleep for most depends on your age range:
•  Adults need 7 to 8 hours per night

•  Adolescents 10 to 17 years old need 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night

•  Children 5 to10 years old need 10 to 11 hours per night

•  Toddlers 1 to 3 years old need 12 to14 hours and 3 to 5 years old need 11 to 13 hours

Sleep disorders and other sleeping problems cause more than just sleepiness. Poor quality sleep can have a negative impact on your child’s energy, emotional balance, productivity, and health. If you’re experiencing sleeping problems, learn about the signs and symptoms of common sleep disorders, and what you can do to seek help.

A sleep disorder should be evaluated like any other illness.   If it's affecting your child’s lifestyle or daily function, seek help from a healthcare professional.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 December 2012 9:20AM