Are children and adolescents getting enough sleep?

Are children and adolescents getting enough sleep?

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018 chapter – December 2019

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Image of a young teenager sleeping

Summary

This chapter gives a comprehensive picture of children’s and adolescents’ sleep patterns in Australia between 2010 and 2016. It describes the times that children and adolescents went to bed and woke up, the amount and quality of their sleep, and how that changed as they grew. The characteristics of adolescents who do not get enough sleep, including whether they thought they got enough sleep, are also described.

Key findings

  • On school days, nearly all 6–7 year olds were getting the required minimum hours of sleep, but only half (50%) of 16–17 year olds were.

  • Children aged 12–17 years were less likely to get the required minimum hours of sleep on school nights compared to non‑school nights.

  • Around four in five children thought they were getting enough sleep, when they were in fact not meeting minimum sleep guidelines for their age.

  • Children not meeting minimum sleep guidelines were more likely to: show symptoms of poor mental health (anxiety, depression, unhappiness)
    • be late for or absent from school
    • spend more time on homework
    • have internet access in the bedroom or spend more time on the internet.

  • 12–13 year olds who participated in sport and/or had regular bedtimes were more likely to meet minimum sleep guidelines for their age.

Read the full chapter: Are children and adolescents getting enough sleep?

Acknowledgements

Featured image: © GettyImages/FG Trade

Publication details

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018 chapter
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, December 2019