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U.S. Kids Need More Sleep

Television and caffeine are helping keep many U.S. children awake at night and most are not getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And many parents are not aware of how much sleep their children need and many may not realize that television and caffeine can affect a child's sleep. The poll found that infants aged 3 to 11 months slept only 13 hours a day on average, although they need 14 to 15 hours. Toddlers aged 1 to 3 slept 12 hours although they need 12 to 14, and preschoolers up to 5 slept 10 hours a night on average although they are supposed to get 11 to 13 hours. Parents need to establish a bedtime routine that doesn't include TV and should certainly keep caffeine out of their children's diets as sleep is a major player in many aspects of health.

New York Times March 30, 2004

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