Despite what your kids may think, they rely on sleep to perform well in school. Dr. Lippitt says that five or six hours of sleep a night are definitely not enough. And while eight or nine may suffice for a teenager, the younger your kids are, the more sleep they need. In fact, Dr. Lippitt encourages children 5 to 7 years old to sleep a full 9.5 to 10 hours.
Regardless of their changing schedules, kids should do their best to maintain consistency in their sleep patterns. "Catching up on the weekends? It doesn't work that way," Dr. Lippitt says. "You need to get enough sleep each night."
From a preventative standpoint, she says kids who aren't getting enough sleep are at higher risk of getting infections. For your high school students especially, this can lead to mono and other illnesses. "The only thing you can do is try to eat well and sleep well. Both stress and depression are for sure exaggerated when you haven't slept," Dr. Lippitt says.