Health and Parenting

Raising fit Kids: Recharge

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  • Question 1/7

    How much sleep do teens need?

  • Answer 1/7

    How much sleep do teens need?

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    Teens may not get the sleep they need because of busy schedules and night-owl sleeping patterns. But less than 8.5 hours just won't cut it. Younger school-age kids need even more -- 10 to 11 hours a night.

     

    Being tired affects your kid’s grades, mood, and health no matter her age. It makes it harder for her to have the energy to be physically active. Plus, if she doesn't get enough sleep, she could go looking for energy from unhealthy snacks and drinks. Those sugary, fried, gooey foods can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

     

    If your teen is too busy with homework and activities to get enough sleep, it may be time to cut back on her schedule.

  • Question 1/7

    Kids can catch up on missed sleep by snoozing late on the weekend.

  • Answer 1/7

    Kids can catch up on missed sleep by snoozing late on the weekend.

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    Sleeping in messes up the body’s internal clock. Your child can get a kind of “jet lag” when he tries to wake up early Monday morning after sleeping late on Saturday and Sunday.

     

    It’s better to stick close to the same sleep schedule all week long. If “sleeping in” is a must, limit it to 1 hour or 9 a.m. on weekends.

  • Question 1/7

    Watching TV in bed can help kids wind down and fall asleep:

  • Answer 1/7

    Watching TV in bed can help kids wind down and fall asleep:

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    It's best to keep TVs, computers, and phones out of the bedroom at any age. Staring at a bright screen before bed can keep kids, and adults, awake. It tricks your brain into thinking it's still time to be awake and alert.

     

    Keep all devices in common areas of your house at night. Have everyone power them down 1 hour before bed so their brains have time to wind down.

  • Question 1/7

    A power nap can refresh a sleepy kid.

  • Answer 1/7

    A power nap can refresh a sleepy kid.

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    While most kids don’t need regular naps after about age 5, a power nap can help at any age.

     

    Make sure they keep them to 30 minutes or less. Longer can make kids groggy and make it harder for them to sleep at night. Also, make sure they nap early enough in the day so it won’t be hard for them to fall asleep at bedtime.

     

    However, if your child is really sleepy, it’s best to skip the nap and just try to get her to bed a little earlier.

  • Answer 1/7

    Doing homework in bed:

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    If your child does homework in her room, set her up with a desk so she has a place to study while her bed stays a place for relaxation and rest.

     

    When kids do homework in bed, their minds can come to connect the spot with the stress of math problems and vocab. That can make it tougher to sleep.

  • Question 1/7

    Caffeine isn't good for kids' sleep. How much does the typical kid drink a day?

  • Answer 1/7

    Caffeine isn't good for kids' sleep. How much does the typical kid drink a day?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Instead of soda or energy drinks, offer your kids water (or sparkling water if they want fizz).
     

    Caffeine can wreck kids’ focus in school. It can also make their hearts race and give them headaches and stomachaches. Plus, many caffeinated drinks are loaded with sugar, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

     

    If your child says she needs caffeine for energy, encourage her to get more sleep instead.

  • Question 1/7

    Teens stay awake late because:

  • Answer 1/7

    Teens stay awake late because:

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    • Correct Answer:

    A teen's body clock resets at puberty. They're most alert in the evenings and usually can’t fall asleep until at least 10 p.m.

     

    To help them get to sleep as soon as possible, suggest a bedtime ritual. A calming routine like brushing your teeth, turning lights down, and reading can bring on that sleepy feeling.

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    Great job! You've got the scoop on kids' sleep.

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    Seems like bedtime could be better. Remember that a bedtime routine and regular schedule can help your kids get enough ZZZs.

Sources | Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on February 28, 2017 Medically Reviewed on February 28, 2017

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on
February 28, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

  1. Ghislain and Marie David de Lossy

SOURCES:

Center for Science in the Public Interest: "Caffeine Content of Food & Drugs."

Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic: "Insomnia in Children."

KidsHealth: "Caffeine and Your Child," "Naps."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency?"

National Sleep Foundation: "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" "Teens and Sleep."

Dennis Rosen, MD, associate medical director, Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Boston Children's Hospital; author, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids.

Staiano, A. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 2013.

Warzak, W. Journal of Pediatrics , March 2011.

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.