A new study shows almost half of U.S. children are falling short of the goal.

Nearly half of American children are not getting the nine hours of nightly sleep recommended by doctors, according to a recent study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 National Conference. A lack of sleep is problematic, pediatricians say, because it can impact schoolwork and lead to long-term health issues such as obesity. 

The study found that children who receive sufficient sleep were more interested in learning and more likely to be “flourishing,” a measure of behavioral and social well-being. Compared with children who did not get nine hours of sleep most weeknights, those who did had 44 percent increased odds of showing interest and curiosity in learning new things; 33 percent increased odds of doing all required homework; 28 percent increased odds of caring about doing well in school; 14 percent increased odds of working to finish tasks started; and 12 percent increased odds of demonstrating the combined flourishing measure.

Parents need to prioritize a good night’s sleep for their children, according to sleep tips from the AAP. 

And remember, sleep experts recommend curtailing screen use well before bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning off devices 30 minutes to two hours before putting children to bed, because using them can negatively impact rest. 

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