Too little sleep linked to health problems in children, teens

Updated sleep recommendations for children and teens point to the benefits of getting enough sleep and the dangers of getting too little.

“At least 25 percent of 12-year-olds get less than the recommended nine hours of sleep per night and there is increasing evidence that this impacts learning and memory,” said Dr. Stuart F. Quan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, a coauthor of the new American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines.

The new recommendations, online now on the AASM website and scheduled for publication in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, “use a more rigorous evaluation of the scientific literature than was used previously,” Quan told Reuters Health by email. “The range of recommended hours of sleep for each age grouping is wider than before,” but the guideline still stresses that children and teenagers “need substantial amounts of sleep.”

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