Older Children May Go to Bed Later, Sleep Less, Feel Drowsier
WebMD News Archive
School-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep to restore the energy needed
for growth, Montgomery says. "You can tell that kids need more sleep when
they struggle to get out of bed, nap after school, and have poor
concentration," Montgomery says. "In fact, some kids are just plain
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to promote good sleep habits.
"Move bedtime up slowly, by a half hour a night," Montgomery says.
"Then gradually wind down activity and start bedtime rituals an hour
beforehand. For younger kids, warm baths, snacks, and stories are often
These same techniques apply to adolescents. "My daughter got her days
and nights mixed up, so now we're trying to reset her internal clock," says
Tonia McCoy-White, mother of 15-year-old Fetausha. "Her room is just for
sleep now, not doing homework or watching TV. And there's no napping during the
Other good "sleep hygiene" techniques, experts say, include exposure
to bright light during the day, limiting caffeine intake, darkening the room
for sleeping, and a regular bedtime.
The study was supported by the Israel Ministry of Education and by Helene
and Woolf Marmot.
- A new study confirms that sleep patterns vary with age. Older kids go to
bed later and sleep for shorter periods than younger kids. Also, nighttime
wakefulness is linked with family stress.
- School-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep to restore energy needed for
growth. Signs of inadequate sleep are struggling to get out of bed, napping
after school, poor concentration, and irritability.
- Sleep habits are improved by moving bedtime up a half-hour each night,
gradually winding down evening activity, and beginning bedtime rituals an hour
- Good sleep hygiene also includes avoiding daytime naps, limiting caffeine
intake, darkening the room for sleeping, and having a regular bedtime.