Bad sleep patterns during the summer holidays could lead to mental health issues- Irish sleep expert
Allowing children to bypass their bedtime and stay up late this summer could have a terrible impact on their mental health, according to an Irish expert.
Paediatric sleep expert Lucy Wolfe suggests that serious health concerns including depression and self-harm could be set off by poor sleep routines during the summer holidays.
Speaking to The Irish Daily Star, Wolfe suggested that disturbed and fragmented sleep could also be a catalyst for obesity, diabetes, and learning problems.
“Now that the summer holiday is upon us, the inclination to allow bedtimes to start later and to have a more relaxed attitude for sleep is appropriate, but not at the expense of the child getting less than what is advised.
“Some of the problems with a later bedtime is that although many children will sleep later in the morning to make up the difference, the vast majority of children will not will not and as a result, will get less sleep.
The sleep expert stands behind the guidelines for sleep set out by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which suggests that infants need 12 to 16 hours of sleep each day, including naps for children between the age of four and 12 months. Children from age one to two should get between 11 and 14 hours of sleep, while three to five-year-olds should be getting 13 hours of shut eye.
Children between the ages of six and 12 should sleep for 12 hours, while it is recommended that teenagers get between eight and ten hours sleep each night.