News Feed Item

Study: Children Sleep Better When Parents Establish Rules, Limit Technology and Set a Good Example

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Although sleep problems persist among many American children, parents can make a difference by setting boundaries around electronics use, enforcing rules and setting a good example. These are the latest findings from the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) Sleep in America® poll, an annual study that began in 1991. The 2014 poll took a deeper look into the sleep practices and beliefs of the modern family with school-aged children.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140303/LA74687LOGO)

"For children, a good night's sleep is essential to health, development and performance in school," said Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, University of Chicago. "We found that when parents take action to protect their children's sleep, their children sleep better."

Many children are not getting the sleep they need
Many children get less sleep on school nights than they should, with some getting less sleep than their own parents think they need. The poll asked parents to estimate how much sleep their child typically gets on a school night. Parents' estimates of sleep time are 8.9 hours for children ages 6 to 10, 8.2 hours for 11 and 12 year olds, 7.7 hours for 13 and 14 year olds and 7.1 hours for teens ages 15 through 17.

The NSF recommends that children ages 6 to 10 get 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and that children in the other three age groups get 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night. View the NSF's sleep time recommendations.

Parents were also asked how much sleep their child needs to be at their best, and 26 percent estimated this number to be at least one hour more than they say their child actually gets on school nights.

Parents do understand the importance of quality sleep even if they do not always think their children get it; more than 9 in 10 parents think sleep is extremely or very important for their child's performance in school, health and well-being, and mood and behavior the next day.

Turning electronics off while sleeping makes a difference
Electronic devices are pervasive in modern American children's bedrooms. Parents report that nearly three out of four (72 percent) children ages 6 to 17 have at least one electronic device in the bedroom while they are sleeping.

Children who leave electronic devices on at night get less sleep on school nights than other children do, according to parents' estimates – a difference of up to nearly one hour on average per night. Parents also have a more negative view of the quality of their child's sleep if the child leaves electronics on while sleeping than if not.

This holds true even with older children who are more likely to leave electronics on. Teens who leave devices on are estimated to get, on average, half an hour less sleep on school nights (7.2 hours per night) than those who never leave devices on (7.7 hours). Only 27 percent of parents whose teens leave devices on rate their teen's sleep as excellent, versus 53 percent of parents whose teens never leave electronics on.

"To ensure a better night's sleep for their children, parents may want to limit their children using technology in their bedroom near or during bedtime," said Orfeu Buxton, PhD, Harvard Medical School.

Evening activities and homework can affect sleep quality
The modern family's busy schedule affects their sleep quality. More than one-third (34 percent) of parents report that scheduled evening activities pose challenges to their child getting a good night's sleep and even more (41 percent) point to these activities as challenging their own good night's sleep. One in four (28 percent) parents report that in the last seven days, homework made it more difficult for their child to get a good night's sleep.

"It can be tough to make time for sleep when we're too busy; making sleep a priority can give all family members the energy to function at their best every day. Sometimes performing better in fewer activities can be a healthy trade for too many activities while fatigued," said Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD, West Virginia University.

Enforcing rules helps children get more sleep
When parents set and enforce sleep rules, children sleep longer. Nearly all (92 percent) parents set one or more sleep-related rules for their children and 62 percent of parents say they always enforce at least one of these rules. Children get more sleep when parents have rules about bedtime (children sleep an average of 1.1 hours more than children whose parents do not have such rules), how late the child can have caffeine drinks (0.7 hours more than those without rules) or how late the child can watch TV (0.6 hours more than those without rules).

Regular enforcement of established rules is even more effective at improving children's sleep. For example, when parents always enforce rules on how late their child can have caffeine drinks, their child gets an estimated average of 0.9 hours more sleep than children whose parents enforce such rules less consistently or do not have those rules at all. When parents always enforce rules on how late smartphones and cell phones can be used, children get an estimated average of 0.8 hours more sleep.

"A good first step in setting and enforcing sleep-related rules is to establish bedtimes," said Jim Spilsbury, PhD, MPH, Case Western Reserve University.

Setting a good example encourages children to follow suit
Children whose parents have healthy sleep environments tend to have healthier sleep environments themselves. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of children whose parents have one or more "interactive" electronics (tablet or smartphone, laptop or desktop computer, and/or video game) in their bedroom also have at least one device in their own bedroom. Only 24 percent of children have a device in their bedroom if their parent does not.

"Parents need to be good role models in their responsible use of electronics and their children will follow suit," said Monique K. LeBourgeois, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder.

"The modern family is more connected and busier than ever, making parenting a more daunting challenge than it ever has been," said Helene A. Emsellem, MD, The Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders and George Washington University Medical Center. "Electronics are prevalent in American homes, so it is important for parents to have a family strategy. Be vigilant about your children's electronics use in the bedroom, set sleep times and talk to your children about the importance of sleep."

Advice to improve your child's sleep
To improve your child's sleep, try these sleep tips:

  1. Make sleep a healthy priority in your family's busy schedule.
  2. Set appropriate and consistent bedtimes for yourself and your children and stick to them.
  3. Know how your child is using electronics in the bedroom. Create a plan for appropriate use at night and set boundaries about use before and after bedtime.
  4. Educate yourself and your child on how light from electronic device screens can interfere with sleep.
  5. Talk to your child about the importance of sleep for health and well-being.
  6. Talk to your child's teacher(s) about your child's alertness during the day. Let your child's teacher(s) know that you want to be made aware of any reports of your child falling asleep in school.
  7. Remember that you are a role model to your child; set a good example.
  8. Create a sleep-supportive bedroom and home environment, dimming the lights prior to bedtime and controlling the temperature (in most cases, temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will disrupt sleep).
  9. Try to encourage activities such as reading or listening to music before bedtime instead of watching TV, playing video games or surfing the web.
  10. Make sure children's activities, including homework, can be completed without interfering with bedtimes.

Editor's Note: The full 2014 Sleep in America® annual poll report is available for download at www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/2014-sleep-the-modern-family.

Poll Methodology and Definitions
The 2014 Sleep in America® annual poll was a probability-based online survey of 1,103 American parents with children aged 6-17 in the household. It was conducted Dec. 12-23, 2013, for the National Sleep Foundation by Mokrzycki Survey Research Services, with field work by the Knowledge Networks division of GfK Group. Sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points, higher for subgroups such as parents of teens.

2014 Sleep in America® Poll Task Force
Helene A. Emsellem, MD (Chair)
The Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders and George Washington University Medical Center

Kristen L. Knutson, PhD (Poll Scholar)
University of Chicago

Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital

D. Sunshine Hillygus, PhD
Duke University

Monique K. LeBourgeois, PhD
University of Colorado Boulder

Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD
West Virginia University

Jim Spilsbury, PhD, MPH
Case Western Reserve University

The NSF began surveying American sleep health and behaviors in 1991 and releases the poll findings as part of its annual National Sleep Awareness Week® campaign, held March 2-9, 2014, which culminates with the change to Daylight Saving Time on March 9. With the change of clocks, NSF encourages Americans not to lose an hour of sleep. Follow events on Facebook and Twitter @sleepfoundation.

About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, health professionals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities. www.sleepfoundation.org

Anna Beaty
[email protected]

SOURCE National Sleep Foundation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU’s GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...