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Effective Solutions for Teens Struggling to Sleep!


Effective Solutions for Teens Struggling to Sleep!
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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has issued new recommendations stating that teenagers should aim for eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, while younger children require even more sleep.

In their statement titled "Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations," endorsed by the AAP, the AASM outlines the optimal sleep durations for children of different age groups. Sleeping less than the recommended hours on a regular basis is linked to attention, behavior, and learning difficulties, as well as an increased risk of accidents, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and depression.

Conversely, excessive sleep has been associated with obesity, diabetes, and mental health problems. The AASM's guidance is presented in a concise two-page statement, with detailed research to be provided at a later date.

The recommended minimum and maximum sleep durations for each age group, including naps, over a 24-hour period for optimal health are as follows:

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • Ages 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Ages 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

To formulate these recommendations, a panel of 13 sleep experts reviewed 864 scientific articles. The panel emphasizes that sleep should be appropriately timed and free from disturbances.

Dr. Lee J. Brooks, a member of the AASM panel and the AAP Section on Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Executive Committee, highlights the significance of school start times in determining wake-up calls. The AAP previously advocated for middle and high schools to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. If schools start earlier, parents should ensure their children go to bed early enough to meet the recommended sleep duration, potentially requiring adjustments to their schedules.

Dr. Brooks emphasizes the importance of consistency in adhering to a sleep schedule, including weekends. Pediatricians are encouraged to regularly inquire about sleep patterns from children and their parents to gain insight into their health influences. Inadequate sleep can often manifest as poor school performance or mislabeling children as troublemakers when, in reality, they simply lack sufficient sleep.

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