Parenting: How much sleep do children need?

June 6, 2011 9:26:30 AM PDT
Before you answer this question, ask yourself how much sleep your children get already.

Let's hope the little ones are not still up watching Jim Gardner at 11pm (although we do appreciate your child's great taste in news watching). We REALLY hope the little guy or gal is not also getting too familiar with Jimmy Kimmel.

Okay, so you have a number, or at least an average of the last week's worth of school nights, right? Great.

Are you comfortable with that number? Do your children seem alert enough to tackle school, or are they continuously dragging themselves to get through the week?

Well, let's see if we can rule out sleep, or lack thereof, as a cause. Here are the guidelines straight from the independent, non-profit National Sleep Foundation:

RECOMMENDED SLEEP: Age vs. Sleep Needs

Newborns (0-2 months) - 12-18 hours
Infants (3-11 months) - 14-15 hours
Toddlers (1-3 years) - 12-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years) - 11-13 hours
School-Age (5-10 years) - 10-11 hours
Teens (10-17) - 8.5-9.25 hours
Adults - 7-9 hours

What gives you the most surprise? As an early riser myself, I was most surprised by the adult recommendations. Truthfully, even when I get seven hours of sleep before my early morning shift (I get up at 2:17am, for those of you who do not know) I sometimes feel like I could have used a little more. Perhaps it is because it was a fitful seven hours, maybe I'm a bit anxious at times about somehow sleep through my alarm (I have never had this happen in the seven years of doing the Action News morning show), maybe I'm just one of those people who need more.

What do you think?

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