Children in Italy and Spain Sleep Less

In the United States, moms and dads measure their parenting skills and successes using a variety of methods. One indication that parents have succeeded in one aspect of setting their child up to live a healthy life that will undoubtedly enable them to grow into a successful future is by sticking to a strict bedtime routine.

When children go to bed on time and without a hitch, parents sometimes expect a gold medal. In other countries around the world, this strict sleep schedule is not nearly as enforced or even encouraged as it is in the United States.

If you go to Rome or Madrid, and decide to go to dinner around 9 to 10 pm, which is a super late, but a very normal time to eat dinner in a restaurant in those countries, you will typically see families with their children stuffing their faces with all of the bread and pasta that you could imagine. A study conducted by pediatric sleep specialists showed that Italian children tend to sleep less than the average American child.

Children in Italy and Spain typically have an average school day of about 5 hours, having an allotted time to go home mid-day for their siesta and lunch. Even with this, children in these countries still sleep less on average than the normal American child. However, adolescents in these countries are reported to have better sleep hygiene and better sleep within itself.

So, with that being said, cut yourself a little bit of slack if you aren’t always able to get your kids to go to sleep at the exact bedtime that you had planned.