The One Thing They May Need Most This Spring

need sleep

Spring is in the air. The days are growing longer, the weather is great, and our kids are busier than ever (at home and school). It is also the time of year for standardized tests at school, spring sports, Advanced Placement tests, and the list goes on. Studies suggest one factor may affect performance, behavior, and emotions in kids more than any other—sleep.

The Mayo Clinic suggests the following guidelines as sleep requirements by age:

  • Infants: 9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps
  • Toddlers: 9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps
  • School-Age Children: 9-11 hours
  • Adults: 7-8 hours

According to the National Sleep Foundation (which is a great resource), 63% of adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep. That’s me.

In the digital age with school and activities, I wonder what the percentage is for our kids? I suspect the number is higher. As parents, the time may come when we have to shut things down for the night. Sure, the random late night at the ball game or studying is not the end of the world. But habitual cycles of poor sleep habits clearly take a toll, especially on a growing young body and mind.

There is always a reason to put off going to bed. (I have been guilty of modeling this attitude with my kids.) But it would appear there are costs as well.


Until next time,


About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→