The president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine emphasized the need to prioritize sleep for children and the organization’s efforts to improve sleep health.
“What we've noticed as we ask parents and children about their reasonings for not going to sleep at night is [that it is affected by] things like homework, early school start times, other activities, and other fun activities that we definitely want our children to experience. We want to make sure that the parents, students, and neurologists know that sleep is an important priority, just like nutrition and exercise.”
The second annual Student Sleep Health Week, held September 12-18, 2021, coincides with the start of the school year, serving as a reminder about the need to prioritize sleep health in children and teenagers. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, students, school officials, and parents are all facing an adjustment period outside of the ‘normal’ transition from summer vacation, as they move from virtual learning back to more in-person settings.
Raman Malhotra, MD, associate professor of neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, and president, American Academy of Medicine (AASM), which organized the event, sat down with NeurologyLive to highlight the key takeaways from this year’s event. According to Malhotra, middle and high school students may look like adults, but they still require more sleep than their adult counterparts, with the AASM recommending 8 to 10 hours.