Poll: Kids not getting enough sleep

Washington – Parents can help their kids get adequate rest by setting and enforcing rules for use of electronics at bedtime and modeling healthy sleep habits, according to results of a new poll from the National Sleep Foundation.

More than 1,000 U.S. parents with children 6-17 years old were surveyed for the annual Sleep in America Poll. Although 90 percent of the parents polled recognized that sleep was important for their children’s health and school performance, their responses show kids are not getting enough sleep.

When asked to estimate the amount of sleep time their children get, parents reported almost 9 hours for children 6-10 years old; 8.2 hours for 11- to 12-year-olds; and less than 8 hours for teens. Each of those amounts is less than what NSF recommends for different age groups.

More than 70 percent of parents said their children had at least one electronic device in their bedroom while sleeping. According to NSF, this practice is associated with less sleep.

NSF also suggests parents set and enforce sleep-related rules, as parents who did this reported that their children received about an hour more of sleep a night than children whose parents who did not set bedtime rules.