October 15, 2009
(NewsUSA) – A recent National Sleep Foundation poll on
children's sleep habits revealed what many sleep experts have suspected for years: Children aren't
getting enough sleep.
For example, children under 10 do not get the minimum amount of sleep recommended for them.
The study also showed that many parents are not aware of how much sleep is enough for their
"It is clear from the poll results that we need to focus as much on the sleeping half of
children's lives as we do on the waking half," said Jodi A. Mindell, chair of the poll's task
force. "Children are clearly not getting enough sleep."
According to Arthur Grehan, executive director of American Innerspring Manufacturers,
a nonprofit trade group, it's a long-standing problem that is finally coming into the spotlight.
"For years, we've focused many of our industry's educational resources on home and classroom
materials aimed at teaching families about the importance of sleep for their children," Grehan
So what can parents do? The first step is to become aware of how much sleep their children
should get. According to the National Sleep Foundation, pre-schoolers should average 11 to 13 hours
of sleep a day, and school-age children (first- through fifth-graders) should be getting 10 to 11
According to Grehan, the bed itself sometimes contributes to a child's lack of sleep.
AIM recommends that children sleep on regular innerspring mattresses that are no more than eight
"Many toddlers and pre-schoolers graduate from the crib to the thin foam mattresses that
came with a piece of youth furniture, and some of the youth who are on full-size beds are sleeping
on hand-me-down mattresses that are more than 10 years old," he said. "In the end, a good night's
sleep for a child means that the parents can rest easy, too."
For more information or to request AIM's sleep literature for youth, visit www.aiminfo.org or call (800) TUCK-ME-IN.