Debate over kids’ bedtimes goes viral

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) –  It’s a huge dilemma for parents: How many hours of sleep should your children get? New data finds 5-year-olds should get more than 11 hours a night.

This graph, originally posted on the Wilson Elementary School’s page, has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook.

It says 5-year-olds should sleep 11 hours and 15 minutes, starting as early as 6:45 p.m. It goes up each age to 12-year-olds, who should sleep 9 hours and 45 minutes. Dr. Sandra Block, Medical Director, with the Sleep Center at Buffalo Medical Group said, “I think you have to examine what’s right for your child. Maybe know what the norms are, but then know what’s right for your child,”

Dr. Block says the guidelines have changed recently, but you should use them as just that, guidelines. She said, “Infants need the most sleep. Those tend to need like 14, 17 hours and then as you get older you get toddlers who need 12 to 15. Then the school age kids need more like 11 to 14 hours. Middle school kids need a bit less, and then you’re into the teenage years.”
She says the same bedtime pattern at night will help your kids buy into why sleep is so important. “A good bedtime routine in a very positive structure can go a long way to helping with bedtime. And avoiding bedtime struggles,” she said.

And if you have teenagers, studies show they need more sleep than you would expect.

She said, “Teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a night, most of them need in the nine-hour range and most of them don’t get that. They get about 7.5 hours, and they are all sleep deprived.”

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