New sleep time recommendations

Tech Talk Tuesdays #19
Does your phone affect your sleep?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) just released recommendations for the number of hours a night that kids and teens need to sleep, to function at their best. 

  • "Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health."

“Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood,” said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, Pediatric Consensus Panel moderator, and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “It is especially important as children reach adolescence to continue to ensure that teens are able to get sufficient sleep.”

Several studies show that small screens in the bedroom can disrupt sleep. In February 2015, the journal Pediatrics published a study of 2048 4th- and 7th-graders which found that sleeping with a small screen decreased sleep time by 20 minutes, usually because of delayed bedtimes. 

In SCREENAGERS Dr. Leslie Walker MD says: 

"One of the most common reasons kids come to the pediatrician , and teenagers in particular, is because they are having trouble with sleep. Having so many kinds of technology in the room really stops some kids from being able to sleep."

The new sleep recommendations come from a project conducted by 13 of the foremost sleep experts:

"The Pediatric Consensus Panel found that sleeping the number of recommended hours on a regular basis is associated with overall better health outcomes including: improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health."

The Panel also found a link between sleeping fewer than recommended and physical disorders like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes as well as increased psychological problems like depression and suicidal thoughts.

For Tech Talk Tuesday (TTT) this week, here are a few questions to help you start a conversation with your family around sleep and screens.

  • Do you sleep with your personal device in your room?
  • If so, why? If the answer is it is an alarm clock, remember, you can just buy a stand alone, cheap alarm clock.
  • Does your device ever wake you up at night?  If so, what is waking you up? Calls, texts, notifications, just knowing its there and you can check it?