Kids Have Been Short on Sleep for 100 Years

At least if official recommendations are any guide
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2012 5:11 PM CST
Kids Have Been Short on Sleep for 100 Years
Kids have long slept less than the recommended number of hours.   (Shutterstock)

If doctors' recommendations are accurate, then kids have been sleep-deprived for more than a century. Researchers reviewed dozens of sets of sleep guidelines dating from 1897 to 2009 and compared them to data on how much sleep kids actually have gotten over the years. They found that kids have consistently slept about 37 minutes less than experts suggested, the Wall Street Journal reports. They also discovered that the recommended amount shrunk by about 0.71 minutes each year.

These days, kids sleep about 70 minutes less than they did around the turn of the century. And just as we blame technology like TV and Internet for kids' sleep deprivation, back then experts blamed the radio. The researchers weren't alarmed about the kids missing their targets. "After 100 years, we still don't have meaningful evidence for these recommendations," says one. For the record, the National Sleep Foundation currently recommends 10 to 11 hours per night for kids 5 to 12, and 9 to 10 hours for teenagers. (Read more children stories.)

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