Curious about whether this sleep loss in their parents transferred to preteens, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation asked preteens on We're Talking, Too: Preteen Health how much sleep they got a night (on average) and were surprised to learn that 52% of the first 317 youth who answered the survey reported they got less than eight hours of sleep a night. Another 38% reportedly got 8 to 9 hours sleep each night and only 10% reported that they got 10 or more hours of sleep each night, which by the way is the recommended amount.
Chronic loss of sleep has a cumulative effect on physical and mental health, can reduce the quality of life and productivity, increase the use of health-care services, and result in illnesses and injuries. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children aged 5 to 12 require 9 to 11 hours of sleep a night and adolescents require 8.5 - 9.5 hours each night.
If you are having trouble getting a good nights sleep, talk to your doctor and make sure you are:
- keeping a regular sleep schedule;
- sleep in a dark, quiet, well-ventilated room with a comfortable temperature;
- avoiding stimulating activities within 2 hours of going to bed; and don't go to bed on an empty or full stomach.