Getting Enough Sleep

Dr. Greene’s take on getting enough sleep…

Getting Enough Sleep

One Key to Happiness, Self-Esteem, and Success

The less sleep children get, the more likely they are to perform poorly in school, to become depressed, and to have a poor sense of self-worth, according to a study of 2,259 Illinois middle school students published in the January-February 2004 issue of Child Development.

As these kids progressed through the middle school years, if the amount of sleep dropped (as it often does), there also tended to be a further drop in grades, and self-esteem and an increase in depression. As a general rule of thumb, most middle schoolers thrive best on an average of about 9 hours. Those in high school may find that 8 hours is enough sleep; those in elementary school often do better with at least 10.

Younger children need even more. Sometimes lack of sleep is seen as a badge of honor. But at any age, getting optimum sleep improves health. It also helps people feel better about themselves and about the world. And it is a simple way to improve performance at almost anything people care about.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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  1. Barno Ravshan Locke

    My 2 year old doesn’t take naps during the evening but she sleeps from 11 pm till 10 am. Is she getting enough sleep?

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