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Chicken/Egg. How do they know that it isn't getting less outside exercise that's making the kids sleep worse?

I'm also leery of studies like that because of the risk that so-called sleep experts will use it to justify using CIO with infants. Mindell already did a literature review of studies that found benefits to longer sleep in adults and children over age 4 where she concluded that getting babies to sleep longer was better too.
 

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I don't think it's justifying CIO. Sleep is very important. When I don't sleep enough I feel depressed and I overeat. When my kids don't sleep enough they are cranky, emotional and unreasonable.
 

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Sleep is important but it's also reasonable to account for individual differences. I have one child who needed (and still needs) lots of sleep. I have another who slept much less - as an infant had long waking periods, napped in brief snatches and woke through the night even as a pre-schooler.

It was hard to adjust my thinking about what that child SHOULD be doing - taking nice long naps and sleeping 10 or 12 hours a night - as opposed to what her real sleep requirements are, partly because I had so many well-meaning people telling me babies and children need lots of sleep. I finally realized that some children don't.
 

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Thank you so much for posting this. I was looking for exactly this kind of article for a handout that I am creating. I know that there are individual differences, but working in schools and talking to children about their sleep habits has made me realize what a huge factor sleep (or poor quality/quantity of sleep) can be in the lives of children, and it is often overlooked.
 

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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:

Quote:
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.
 

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I strongly agree with articles like this. My DD is 7 years old and still goes to sleep b/t 7:00 - 7:30 most nights and gets up around 7. This is way more sleep than most of her friends and we're just getting to the point where it's impeding some social/sports opportunities. She plays Indoor soccer in the winter and we often keep her home from the later games (game start times can be as late as 8:40) -- my DH is the coach and he goes, we just keep her home. We were surprised when we started with this league that more parents didn't choose to keep their girls home (we were willing to forfeit games if needed). In terms of my DD, if she gets less sleep, it's a pretty big deal...it takes days to recover and she has a hard time functioning at school.

My DS (age 4) is more flexible in terms of how much sleep he needs. He can recover easier from a late night than my DD can, but he still goes to sleep at the same time and gets up around the same time...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rosebud1 View Post
Llyra,

Just curious -- how old are your kids, and what time do they go to sleep?

I have a two year old and my goal is for her to have thirteen hours (between night sleep and nap) a day of sleep.
My kids are 5, 3, and 3 (twins). The 3 year olds go to bed between 6:30 and 7, and sleep until 7:15ish am. They also take a nap-- usually about 90 minutes. So they get about 14 hours in a day, roughly.

My 5 year old goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:30, and sleeps until 7:30.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jen in co View Post
I strongly agree with articles like this. My DD is 7 years old and still goes to sleep b/t 7:00 - 7:30 most nights and gets up around 7. This is way more sleep than most of her friends and we're just getting to the point where it's impeding some social/sports opportunities. She plays Indoor soccer in the winter and we often keep her home from the later games (game start times can be as late as 8:40) -- my DH is the coach and he goes, we just keep her home. We were surprised when we started with this league that more parents didn't choose to keep their girls home (we were willing to forfeit games if needed). In terms of my DD, if she gets less sleep, it's a pretty big deal...it takes days to recover and she has a hard time functioning at school.

My DS (age 4) is more flexible in terms of how much sleep he needs. He can recover easier from a late night than my DD can, but he still goes to sleep at the same time and gets up around the same time...
Wow, I'm surprised a seven year old soccer league has games that late. That's definitely past most kids bedtimes I would think.
 

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Originally Posted by calpurnia View Post
I was surprised to learn that American schools start so early (as per this article). In the UK, start time is generally somewhere around 9.00.
And this has ticked me off all my life. I need a lot of sleep and I don't do well in the mornings, so having to start school around 7:30 did me a huge disservice. I would seriously consider homeschooling my kids if they have the same sleeping/waking problems I did, just for this reason.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
Wow, I'm surprised a seven year old soccer league has games that late. That's definitely past most kids bedtimes I would think.
I think Indoor Soccer is sort of like Ice Hockey...field time is scarce and the smaller field where our league plays needs to fit in games for U8 and U9 Boys & Girls b/t 4PM-8:40PM on one night a week....other nights it's used for other age groups, etc. They spread around the late start times, but you end up with a few 8PM and 8:40 games. Indoor is a totally fun take on soccer (no offsides, super fast) and it's easy in that there are no practices...everyone just shows up and plays once per week, but the field issue is huge. Also, my DD is one of only thre 7 year olds on the team (the rest are 8 & 9), so I think most of the other girls have later bed times.
 
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