Kids not getting shuteye is serious

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER. TX (KLTV) - Daylight saving time stole an hour of sleep from East Texans, but what about losing hours a night for years.

Sleep keeps us going, and research suggests the time we need it most is our younger years. Just how much shuteye do your kids need?

She may not be in school yet but four-year-old Allie Andrews and her two-year-old sister Blaire already know their schedule - their sleep schedule.

"From the day I brought her home from the hospital, we've been very much on a schedule," said mother Jamie Andrews.

Jamie plays with her children during the day, but come evening they know the drill.

"We always start our evenings off with a book after we brush our teeth we go in and read a book together and I think it's a great way to cap off the day," said Jamie.

Dr. David Osteen at Trinity Clinic Pediatrics said kids not getting shuteye is serious.

"I don't think parents realize how much sleep their kids need," said Osteen. "It's an epidemic the amount of sleep deprivation we have."

He says the Andrews family is right on. While there is not magical time on the clock for kids to go to sleep, having Allie and Blaire get 10 to 12 hours of sleep is just right. That number will drop to 8 to 10 as they get older, but he adds the importance of having a sleep schedule.

"It's just good to have good sleep hygiene where you're having a schedule every night," said Osteen. "Where we do this by eight o'clock and by eight thirty we're in bed."

"It's imperative, and I think parents owe it to their children to give them a restful environment and we as parents there are certainly things we can control," said Jamie.

Something you can control is your routine. Doctor's say to give your kids an hour before bedtime to wind down. To do so, stick with habits, bath time, books, or both. It will let the child calm down, and turn lights out; the darker the better. Doing so can help your children drift off for a good night's sleep.

Doctors warn those who are thinking they can catch up on sleep to think again. Staying up late and sleeping in is actually counterproductive, throwing off your sleep schedule even more. The best bet, try to go to sleep within an hour or two of the same time each night.