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Sleep: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | March 9th, 2011 | Teen Perspective

Everyone knows that teenagers like to sleep. And we do. But sleep is important for all kids. Every kid wants to deny that they are tired and that they want a later bed time, but where is the line?

I am not a major sleeper; I never sleep past 8 a.m., but I used to always wake at 6, so that is relatively late for me. On the other hand, some of my friends will sleep until noon if left unchecked. So, if you need to decide how long your child needs to sleep, follow these guidelines.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Chicago, “There is no sleep formula for newborns because their internal clocks aren’t fully developed yet. They generally sleep or drowse for 16 to 20 hours a day, divided about equally between night and day… At 6 months, an infant may nap about 3 hours during the day and sleep about 9 to 11 hours at night… From ages 1 to 3, most toddlers sleep about 10 to 13 hours… Preschoolers sleep about 10 to 12 hours per night. A preschool child who gets adequate rest at night may no longer needs a daytime nap… School-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night… Adolescents need about 81/2 to 91/2 hours of sleep per night, but many don’t get it.”

As a kid, I can say most of this is true, except these are all ideal. No preteen will ever get 12 hours of sleep willingly. And as a teen playing sports and with homework, some days getting seven hours is a stretch. Rather, I would suggest trying to get a regular schedule in place. Every week day, I wake at five thirty and try to go to bed at ten. On weekends (and Friday nights), I generally go to bed anywhere from ten to one and wake by eight. Thus, I still get about eight hours of sleep a night. But, I am also a schedule oriented person and don’t get my sleep pattern thrown off easily.

Sleep is a tough subject with any kid. We always want to be up later, but we need sleep, often more than we know. Remember, the numbers above are ideal and may be unlikely.

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