Should You Worry If Your Kid Sleeps Until Noon?

School is out, and the unstructured days of summer are here.
Some kids have immediately chosen to fill a good chunk of their free time with sleep.
And lots of it.
We know that kids need roughly 9 hours of sleep per night to optimize their growth, both mentally and physically. We also know that during the school year they may be falling short of that number on a regular basis.
So when your kid is stumbling out of bed at noon or even later, the most likely reason is because their body is trying to pay off its sleep debt from the last few months.
Yes, that is actually a thing that you can do.
A decade ago researchers at Stanford University used the mens' basketball team as their subjects in a sleep study.
They had players sleep a minimum of 10 hours per night for a prolonged period. The results showed a dramatic increase in both physical and academic performance.
More interestingly, they found that you can recover up to 50 hours of lost sleep by getting more than your ideal 9 hours.
You may be a bit groggy for the first few weeks, but that fades over time.
Now this isn't necessarily why everyone would sleep 10 or more hours a day.
It could also be due to an extremely irregular sleep schedule that in wreaking havoc on their ability to function at their best.
It could be related to stress, or a physical/mental illness.
It could be that their activity levels changed dramatically since school got out, and their body needs significantly more recovery time.
In most cases, though, it is simply a kid's attempt to pay off their school year sleep debt.
So when we see groups of kids come in and act like zombies for the first 20 or so minutes of their session in class after class, which is literally what happens at the start of each summer, we know not to get too alarmed.
It should eventually level off as the weeks go by, and your kid will be better off for it in the long run.

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