Helping Kids Sleep

Dr. Karen Latimer shares some sleep tips.
4:42 | 11/18/11

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Transcript for Helping Kids Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation two thirds of kids in the years through middle school. Aren't getting adequate sleep so what we do to help children get the -- they need. Joining us with tips his family practitioner and author of the blog yes five dot net doctor -- -- Latimer doctor -- thanks so much for joining us. We hear more and more about how important it is for young people to get -- what happens when they don't get enough sleep. -- and anybody doesn't get enough sleep you know how you feel it's terrible but for children especially with their difficult schedules and how. Over schedule they are these days they need sleeping is and they don't get -- they can we can confused. Irritable they can have behavioral problems as well as social problems till they're often misdiagnosed with ADD and it really could just be that they're not getting enough sleep where they sleep is not. They're actual -- but not good enough. And your risk of depression in children and teens of higher when they don't get enough sleep your risk of obesity -- being overweight is higher. -- you cannot sleep cannot concentrate our problems with memory. Academically they suffer so just a cascade of issues amazing how many things are fact that so -- Advice do you -- or how much sleep to kids in different age groups need. We know newborns and toddlers need a lot for -- for going to talk about seven more school aged children and start getting their preschool three to six year -- need about ten to twelve hours of sleep a night. 7212 year olds need. A little bit less than how much less -- -- -- eleven hours a night out we just hope I don't think about it it sounds and probably like not a lot but that means you have to get you -- sixth or seventh grader asleep by nine if they get by seven. Which is with the lives they lead is extremely difficult teenagers need last and they get closer to what an adult needs about -- nine hours -- night. But for teenagers it's very difficult because the circadian rhythm is so far off. When an adult or younger child is. That they have the very very hard time falling asleep than usual attire before 11 o'clock our most children getting this amounts. Now and as you said you know the study that people are talking out of the National Sleep Foundation said. Two thirds but I've read different studies that say as many as much as 85% of children are not getting enough sleep and back. Well it's in. It's a whole bunch of different things that's basically our society it's basically. The difference in parenting to parents really don't set limits and boundaries as well as they used to. A lot of parents -- work working a lot of parents are also were scheduled so -- only time to spend with their children is late at night. And kids -- all -- after school activities tons and tons of homework. And look at -- for the really we are over scheduling our children I'm doing it myself I know this is a problem but to try to get them asleep by 9 o'clock when they haven't gotten home from soccer practice until 8 o'clock. Is nearly impossible that's tough and and -- had something to keep in mind what tips do you have to get kids. Sleep -- -- well you know in the distance is recognizing that this is a problem and I think. It's important to have the conversation with your child and we don't we aren't those parents anymore. Fortunately or unfortunately that are dogmatic in just say it's that time because I -- -- had a conversation with your kids and try to point out to them. Why they're feeling the way they are the next morning they didn't get enough sleep help them realize how important statements explain it to them they can understand it. And what you want to do -- and really set some routines -- know how important it is for a toddler but it's just as important not only for children for adults -- need to sleep try to get. Asleep at the same time and that you children's sleep in the same time having. -- and do some down time get rid of the computer the television. Confiscate that cell -- when they get into their bedroom I know that's hard. But at least a half an hour. Sleep experts will say probably Howard -- two hours before they should be watching television shouldn't be on the Internet and why is that is that because it stimulating that's exactly what it is it's very difficult to fall asleep after stimulating television shell or conversation with your friends. But he can even cut that down to half an hour before bedtime. They are getting so little time in their bad to actually sleep you want to maximize as much as possible so you want them to fall asleep as quickly as possible. Incredible that technology so that they can fall asleep -- So haven't read a book listen -- you know even meeting with listen to music I think it's a great thing to do. But he really just sort of down starting passes that set the tone in the house and taking everything down and not even if -- -- watching TV turn it off before the kids are going to sleep even if they're not watching it they can hear they're aware of it. Didn't think within the lights a little bit -- just kind of getting everyone to quiet down. And you'll find the people who falsely a little bit easier that's the really important it pays for adults and I know -- they offered -- but I mean for kids. They really need to be taught adults -- -- and if we don't do -- -- you know shame on us but if our children aren't getting enough sleep. Shame on us as parents they need to say -- -- -- for their health for their behavioral absolutely. -- Latimer thanks so much great advice -- sleep you welcome.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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