Despite concerns to the contrary, American children do seem to be getting adequate sleep, a new analysis reveals.
"Our estimates are in line with the amount of sleep recommended for children by the [U.S.] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests that children in the U.S. are getting an appropriate amount of sleep on average," said study author Jessica Williams, a doctoral candidate at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The investigators determined that infants were sleeping an average of 13-plus hours per day, a figure that slowly but continuously fell as they aged through adolescence. By the time teens were between 14 and 18 years old, the average amount of sleep hovered at about nine hours per day, with all the figures holding up regardless of race or ethnicity.
The finding stems from an in-depth look at current sleep norms among infants and children, as reflected by data collected in 1997 -- with follow-ups in 2002 and 2007 -- by a large National Science Foundation survey that set out to assess behavioral and mental health development from birth through age 18.
Williams and her colleagues report their findings in the Nov. 26 online issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Source: U.S. News & World Report