Loss of Sleep for School Age Children and Adolescents

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sammie Prince researched that with school back in session, late nights and early mornings become the daily routine of adolescents again. From the freedom of summer to the stricter schedule of school and outside activities, it is easy for students to lose sleep.

Although some may not believe it, children require more sleep on average than adults. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2019) recommends that children between 6 and 12 years of age get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep per day. Those who are between 13 and 18 years should have at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day.  For an age group that may resist sleeping, it is imperative for their growth and development, and for proper mind and body function.

School is filled with early mornings and late nights, which may become normal for the adult population, but needs to be discussed further with the adolescent. Children and adolescents have multiple commitments and responsibilities that, at times, may be hard to fit in one day. The CDC (2020) suggests that 6 of 10 middle schoolers do not get enough sleep, and for high schoolers, about 7 of 10 currently do not get enough sleep.

Not only does the lack of sleep cause children to struggle to stay awake during classes, but it also opens the door for various health problems. The CDC (2019) reports the lack of adequate sleep in adolescents increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, injuries, as well as attention deficit, behavior problems, and consequently, poor academic performance.

Children benefit from a schedule that is routine to get adequate sleep. Staying away from technology close to bedtime and not over-committing may help them to remain balanced. Preventing sleep deprivation in school-age children by educating them in school or considering changing the start time, or if that is not possible, the time they go to bed, are ways to make sure they get enough sleep and to support students at vulnerable ages.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, May 29). Sleep and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/sleep.htm.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September 10). Sleep in middle and high school students. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/features/students-sleep.htm.


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