Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Children need adequate sleep to ensure proper body and mind development. This indicates that sleep is no less important than food or drink in their lives.
Sleep deprivation affects children in different ways – both physically and mentally. Studies have shown how lack of sleep could affect a child's academic performance.
A good sleep pattern can lead to better health outcome like improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, mental and physical health.
Now, a research team led by an Indian-origin scientist warns that both lack or excess of sleep can lead to health risks like hypertension, obesity, diabetes and depression among children and teenagers.
The findings showed that insufficient hours of sleep could increase the risk of accidents and injuries as also lead to self-harm, suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts among teenagers.
Conversely, sleeping for longer hours may also be associated with adverse health outcome such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and mental health problems.
"Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood," said Shalini Paruthi from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Springfields, Illinois.
According to Nathaniel Watson, President at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adequate sleep is essential for the children who are in the critical years of early development.
But, how many parents know how many hours of sleep do children of different ages need per day? Here are the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for children of different ages:
- Babies 4 months to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours per day
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours per day
- Children 3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours per day
- Children 6 to 12 years old: nine to 12 hours per day
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years old: eight to 10 hours per day
For the study, the team conducted a 10-month project and reviewed 864 published scientific articles addressing the relationship between sleep duration and health in children.
The research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
(With Agency inputs)