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U.S. Kids Getting Enough Sleep After All: Survey
Date:11/27/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Despite concerns to the contrary, American children do seem to be getting adequate sleep, a new analysis reveals.

"Our estimates are in line with the amount of sleep recommended for children by the [U.S.] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests that children in the U.S. are getting an appropriate amount of sleep on average," said study author Jessica Williams, a doctoral candidate at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The finding stems from an in-depth look at current sleep norms among infants and children, as reflected by data collected in 1997 -- with follow-ups in 2002 and 2007 -- by a large National Science Foundation survey that set out to assess behavioral and mental health development from birth through age 18.

Williams and her colleagues report their findings in the Nov. 26 online issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The authors noted that the CDC recommends that children between the ages of 1 and 3 years get roughly 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, while those between ages 3 and 5 years should get 11 to 13 hours per day. By the time kids reach the ages of 5 to 10 years, 10 to 11 hours of sleep are deemed sufficient. By adolescence, 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep is considered enough.

In the survey, childhood activities, including sleep time, were detailed in family diaries logged by survey participants, which initially included about 2,800 children, later dropping to about 1,400 children by the final follow-up.

The investigators determined that infants were sleeping an average of 13-plus hours per day, a figure that slowly but continuously fell as they aged through adolescence. By the time teens were between 14 and 18 years old, the average amount of sleep hovered at about nine hours per day, with all the figures holding up
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