A new study from
Pennsylvania State University in the US has showed that regular sleep-wake
routines in the household not only help children get good quality sleep, they
also enable age-appropriate sleep duration.
The study published in the
journal Sleep Health states that a regular bedtime, reduced interaction with
technological gizmos and limited caffeine in the evening are all aspects of
sleep hygiene that lead to improved sleep quality and duration.
In the study, the
research team assessed a total of 1,103 parents between the ages of 6 and 17
living in the US. Participants - more than 50 percent female - completed
surveys and members of the team quizzed them over the Internet.
Though a grand majority
of parents understands the importance of sleep, a whopping 90 percent of their
offspring didn't sleep as many hours as are recommended for their age group.
According to the
researchers, children between the ages of six and 11 should sleep nine hours
per night and those between the ages of 12 and 17 should get in at least eight
hours of shut-eye per night.
assistant professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State and co-author of the
study says that, "We have previously demonstrated the negative effect that use
of light-emitting technology before bedtime can have on sleep, and now in this
study we see how parental rules and routines regarding technology can influence
the quantity and quality of their children's sleep."
Chang's colleague Orfeu
Buxton cited busy schedules that make it hard for both children and parents to
get adequate sleep. However, it should be intertwined in the rhythms of the
household and treated as sacred, he added.