Are your children getting enough sleep?

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Everyone needs sleep. Getting enough is crucial to everything from attention and memory to mood moderation. How many of us get crabby, anxious or downright depressed when we don’t get enough sleep?

The CDC calls insufficient sleep a “health epidemic” based on data that nearly 30% of adults average less than six hours of sleep nightly and only 31% of teens get at least eight hours per school night.

Children are also at risk.

Research published this week in the journal Pediatrics suggest poor sleep in children under age 7 can lead to weight problems and can have general negative effects on their physical, emotional and social health.

While adults generally require about seven to nine hours of sleep, newborns need more than 16 hours per day.

Children fall somewhere in between, with teens needing nine to 10 hours per day and preschoolers 11 to 12 (this amount can include naps).

If your child wakes up fairly happy and easily in the morning and does not have a meltdown in the late afternoon from being over-tired, he or she is probably well-rested.

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