Establishing regular bedtimes and sleep routines with young children may ensure that they are in better health as teenagers…

Penn State researchers linked young children’s bedtime and sleep routines to their sleep patterns and body mass index (BMI) as teenagers.

Children who had no bedtime routine at age nine had shorter self-reported sleep duration and higher BMI at age 15, compared to those children with age-appropriate bedtimes.

“Parenting practices in childhood affect physical health and BMI in the teenage years. Developing a proper routine in childhood is crucial for the future health of the child,” says co-author Orfeu Buxton, professor of biobehavioural health at Penn State, and director of the Sleep, Health, and Society Collaboratory at Penn State.

“We think sleep affects physical and mental health, and the ability to learn.”

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How much sleep does your child need?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), this is how much sleep children and teenagers need:

  • Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Kids who lack sleep are more likely to be overweight

“Giving children the time frame to get the appropriate amount of sleep is paramount,” says Prof Buxton. “Bedtime should provide enough of a “window” for the child to get an appropriate amount of sleep, even if the child doesn’t fall asleep right away.”

Source: Penn State via www.sciencedaily.com and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.