Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle - equal to eating well and being active. For overall health and wellbeing, as well as for success at work and school, a good night’s sleep (7 to 8 hours for adults, 9 to 12 hours for children) is the amount recommended by medical experts.
What the research says
Too little sleep has been linked to overeating and overweight, increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, and more depression in adults. For children, recent research suggests:
- In a study of 8,000 preschoolers, less than 11 hours sleep was linked to lower literacy and early math skills. Bedtime routines can be an important way to make a significant impact on children’s preparation for school success.
- Getting less sleep at night seems to make a healthy growth pattern more difficult. In several studies of hundreds children, fewer hours of nighttime sleep was associated with a greater chance of being overweight. Daytime napping had no effect on weight.
- Children who do not get the age-appropriate amount of sleep can behave somewhat like hyperactive children. For youth diagnosed with ADA or ADHD, improvements in sleep routines can dramatically improved peer relations and classroom performance.
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