They discovered 300 such studies, dating all the way back to a French paper from 1897, and found that both age-specific recommendations for appropriate sleep and the amount of time kids actually spend in dreamland both declined at similar rates: 0.71 minutes per year for recommendations versus o.73 minutes per year for actual sleep duration, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Across the board, children got about 37 minutes less sleep than was recommended.
Over the 112 years the study covered, children lost about 75 minutes of shut-eye: in 1897, experts were recommending that kids sleep 1 hr. 15 min. more than was advised in 2009.
So, how much are kids supposed to sleep anyway? The National Sleep Foundation in Arlington, Va., says babies between the ages of 3 to 11 months should snooze for a total of 14 to 15 hours, while toddlers between 1 to 3 years old should get 12 to 14 hours. Preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours, and elementary schoolers should sleep between 10 to 11 hours. Older children and teens need a minimum of 8½ hours.
Researchers from the University of South Australia did some historical spelunking, looking for every study about sleep duration in children beginning from the end of the 19th century through 2009.
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