A USA Today news report explores the importance of sleep for children and teens.

“Nationally, kids are going to bed too late,” says Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Parents estimate that, on school nights, children ages 6 to 10 sleep 8.9 hours, well short of the recommended 10 to 11 hours, according to results of a National Sleep Foundation 2014 Sleep in America Poll.

And while 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night are recommended for youth from 11 to 17, the poll found that 11- and 12-year-olds averaged just 8.2 hours of sleep; 13- and 14-year-olds slept 7.7 hours, and teens 15 through 17 clocked just 7.1 hours, according to the NSF.

“Parents think that it’s normal when it’s difficult to get kids out of bed in the morning and for teens to sleep until noon on weekends, but it isn’t,” says Dr. Judith Owens, the director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Sleep loss at any age is serious business.”

Get the full story at www.usatoday.com