For children in elementary school, regularly getting less than nine hours of sleep per night may hinder their neurocognitive development, according to a study led by University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers and published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
The effects on the children’s academic and social lives lasted for at least two years, “suggesting long-lasting consequences of insufficient sleep,” the researchers wrote. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to be fairly common among children and teens. For instance, a recently published study from the National Institutes of Health found that 9- to 13-year-olds average just 7 hours and 45 minutes of sleep a night, considerably less than recommended.
To help increase children’s sleep time, pediatricians urge parents to make sufficient sleep a family priority and to encourage such things as daytime physical activity, a regular nighttime routine and no screen time for an hour before bedtime.
This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a brief look at the statistical aspect of health issues. Additional information and relevant research are available through the hyperlinks.