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Researchers Estimate Sleep Norms for U.S. Children

Estimates are consistent with recommended amounts; no evidence of racial/ethnic differences

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- National sleep norms indicate that U.S. children are generally getting the recommended amounts of sleep, according to research published online Nov. 26 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Jessica A. Williams, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted secondary analysis of three waves of the nationally representative Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics survey to develop national sleep norms based on age. Participants included children from birth to 18 years: 2,832 in 1997; 2,520 in 2002; and 1,424 in 2007.

The researchers found that the total average sleep decreased throughout childhood and early adolescence, from an estimated more than 13 hours a day for infants to about nine hours a day for 14- to 18-year-olds. The estimated conditional percentiles for older children were higher on weekends, compared to weekdays, and were flatter with respect to age than the weekday sleep minutes. For children younger than 6 years and for teenagers, the interquartile ranges were greater. For most ages, the medians stratified by race/ethnicity and sex were similar. The estimated medians were within a few minutes of each other for different survey years.

"These estimates are consistent with the amount of sleep recommended for children, and no evidence was found of racial/ethnic differences," the authors write.

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