People are often very down on me, because of how careful I am to protect my kids' bedtimes. My kids seem to go to bed much earlier, and sleep much longer, than other kids that we've gotten acquainted with, and parents think I'm weird. When I talk about it with older adults, though, they seem to think I'm right on track-- that's how much sleep their kids got, too, when they had kids at home.
So I think there's something to this.
I liked this that I read in the comments:
|but am also sceptical about a culture that hasn't yet worked out how to meet the basic needs of children, rather than just fitting them around their parents' economic roles
That said a lot, to me.
I wonder, too, if people who think their kids are getting enough sleep, would find that their kids would be happier, more alert, easier to live with, etc., if their kids got another hour or so sleep at night. Oftentimes kids DO need the sleep, but there are issues of habit and environmental influence that keep kids from getting it, and parents don't even realize it. Like knowing that if kids are in front of a blinking TV screen in the evenings, that makes it harder for them to settle to sleep, for instance. Or knowing that toddlers and preschoolers will often NOT "sleep in" in the mornings, so that if they go to bed too late, they will go chronically short on sleep.
Of course there are individual differences. There would have to be, and that means there will be certain kids who need much more or much less than the average kid. But the idea that ON AVERAGE, kids are getting less than the optimal amount of sleep-- that really rings true for me.