Sleep deprivation is a huge problem in the United States, and it’s especially harmful to children. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of death in America. And sleep deprivation isn’t just dangerous – it’s also incredibly common. In fact, nearly 40% of adults reported getting less than seven hours of sleep per night. That number is even higher for children, with nearly 60% of kids aged 6-13 getting less than eight hours of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for children. For children, sleep deprivation can lead to problems with attention and focus, poor academic performance, obesity, and an increased risk for injuries. In this blog post, we’ll explore the effects of sleep deprivation on children and offer some tips on how to ensure your child gets enough rest.

How Sleep Deprivation Works

The Definition

Sleep deprivation is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person does not get enough sleep. It can be caused by sleep problems such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or insomnia. Sleep deprivation can also be caused by lifestyle factors such as working long hours, taking care of young children, or traveling across time zones.

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that can have a negative impact on a person's health. When a person is sleep deprived, their body is unable to function properly. This can lead to problems such as fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and an increased risk of accidents.

The Negative Affects

Children need adequate sleep for healthy development. Poor sleep can lead to problems such as obesity, poor academic performance, and behavioral issues. It is therefore important for parents to ensure that their children get enough sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation is a leading cause of obesity in children. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that sleep deprivation messes with your hormones. Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that play a major role in weight regulation. Ghrelin signals hunger to the brain, while leptin signals satiety. When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin levels go up and leptin levels go down, so you feel hungry all the time and never feel full. This can lead to weight gain over time.

Why kids are sleeping less than 8 hours per night

Too much time on their hands

One of the main reasons kids aged 6-13 are getting less than eight hours of sleep per night is because of their busy schedules. Between school, extracurricular activities, and homework, children are constantly on the go. And with technology becoming more and more prevalent in our lives, it’s no surprise that kids are struggling to get enough sleep.

We live in a digital age

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that technology is bad for kids' sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children who sleep with technology in their bedrooms get an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who do not. The use of screens in the hours before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to sleep deprivation. This is particularly concerning given that sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on children's health and development.

There are a number of reasons why technology can be bad for kids' sleep. First, the use of screens can lead to stimulation, which can make it harder to fall asleep. Second, the blue light from screens can inhibit the production of melatonin, which is essential for sleep. Finally, kids are often exposed to a lot of screen time during the day, which can make it harder to sleep at night. All of this means that it's important for parents to limit their children's screen time in the hours leading up to bedtime. This will help ensure that kids get enough sleep and that their health and development isn't adversely affected.

Lack of parental support

Another reason why kids are sleep deprived is because of their parents. In today’s society, parents are often working long hours and don’t have time to help their children get to bed on time. As a result, kids are staying up later and not getting the sleep they need.

As parents, we often underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. We tell ourselves that our children will be fine even if they don’t get enough rest. After all, they’re just kids, right? Wrong. Sleep deprivation can have a serious impact on children’s health, both in the short and long term.

In the short term, sleep deprivation can lead to irritability, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating. If your child is missing out on valuable hours of sleep, they may also have trouble succeeding in school. In the long term, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can also lead to depression and anxiety.

Ultimately, it is up to parents to ensure that their children get enough sleep each night. By following these tips, parents can help their children stay healthy and well-rested.

How to get a full night's rest

So it’s important to make sure your child is getting enough restful sleep every night. Here are some tips to help you ensure your child is getting the shut-eye they need: 

  1. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. A consistent bedtime routine will signal to your child’s body that it’s time to wind down for the night. 
  2. Keep electronics out of the bedroom. That means no TV, no tablets, and no phones.
  3. Create a comfortable sleeping environment. The temperature should be cool and the bed should be firm but not too hard. Make sure there are no bright lights or loud noises that could disturb your child’s sleep. 
  4. Avoid giving your child caffeine before bedtime. Caffeine can stay in the body for up to 8 hours, so it’s best to avoid giving it to your child after lunchtime. 
  5. Encourage your child to exercise during the day. Physical activity will help them feel sleepy at bedtime. 

By following these tips, you can help ensure your child is getting the restful sleep they need to grow and thrive.


A good night’s sleep is crucial for both adults and children alike. But unfortunately, many children today suffer from sleep deprivation due to busy schedules and early school start times. This can lead to a host of problems including difficulties in school and increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure later in life. As parents, we can help our children get enough rest by establishing a bedtime routine and creating a comfortable sleeping environment free from electronics and distractions. Sweet dreams!


National Sleep Foundation. " Sleep Deprivation.", 01 Dec. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2018.