Chernoff said that parents don't need to worry if they have trouble waking their kids in the morning; it's not necessarily a sign of too little sleep. In young children, she said, if they are having a lot of tantrums and fight going to bed, but then fall asleep quickly, they're probably not getting enough sleep.
The bottom line, Chernoff said, is to do what works for your family.
"This study pointed out that we are all concerned about children's sleep, and that hasn't changed over 100-plus years, even though we really don't understand how much sleep is enough," said Chernoff.
Parents today may feel that they rightly have more to be concerned about with all the gadgets filling their children's spare time. But, Olds said today's distractions probably aren't any worse than those of yesteryear.
"The sleep guidelines study shows us that parents and educators are concerned about whatever the new technology of the time is: radio, television, Internet. I don't think there's anything especially noxious about today's technology apart from its ubiquity, which makes it hard for parents to police. In 20 years' time new technologies will be the focus of concern, perhaps wearable computers, or brainwave interpreters," Olds added.
Results of the sleep review were released online Feb. 13, and are scheduled to be published in the March print issue of Pediatrics.
Read more about sleep and children from the Nemours Foundation.
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