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Sleep Habits and Kids

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

- According to polls, kids have lost about two hours of sleep per night over the last two generations - Teenagers need more sleep than they think, with 9-10 hours being the estimate of sleep researchers - Teenagers throughout the world, even in non-industrialized cultures, enjoy staying up later and sleeping in, and growth hormone is released in the later cycles of sleep - When schools start later, academic performance improves and car crashes by minors decrease - Sleep deprivation is correlated with anxiety, depression and suicide, and there are many reasons to consider it a cause rather than a consequence

All of these, and the fact that sleep diminishes symptoms of PMS, are the reasons I let my teens sleep in whenever possible, til about 9 am. (They usually wake up before then, but this is when I would consider waking them up.) It's not laziness that drives them, it's a real need during years of rapid growth. I shared these thoughts with a group of homeschooled teens the other day, and a couple of them said that they had woken up early and then taken a mid-morning nap. Another said she had slept 12 hours the night before because she had a cold. It's heartening to hear kids taking care of themselves and parents carving out the time for good habits.

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