CNN: Getting enough sleep was tough even before the pandemic.

With disrupted routines, extra screen time and the incredible amount of stress most people face now, sleep routines seem to have gone quickly but quietly downhill. And from what I’m seeing in my child psychiatry practice — kids are suffering especially hard.

To get enough of that rest, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 10 to 13 hours of nightly sleep for kids ages 3 to 5 years old; 9 to 12 hours for kids ages 6 to 12; and 8 to 10 hours for teens. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, only 4 in 10 middle schoolers and 3 in 10 high schoolers are getting enough sleep.The lack of adequate sleep does not come without a steep cost. Insufficient sleep can cause problems in the short and long term, including not just impaired cognition, irritability and lack of patience but also diabetes and heart disease, studies have shown.

Remote learning, work from home, lack of child care and financial difficulties are some of the reasons our routines look different these days. A good bedtime routine is one of the most critical parts of sleep hygiene. The more consistent the bedtime routine, the more your children’s body clocks stay on course, and the more their brains start to associate the routine with getting sleepy. Having a consistent internal clock helps regulate mood as well, which in turn further improves sleep.

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