For those of us who have spent a considerable portion of our professional careers advocating for the importance of sleep health in children, it’s been a disheartening few weeks.

Two back-to-back articles have received a substantial amount of media coverage. The first was on the history of sleep recommendations for children (Matricianni L, et al. Pediatrics. 2012;129:548-556, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/548.full.html), and the other was on the correlation between sleep amounts and standardized test scores in adolescents (Eide E, Showalter M. East Econ J. Jan. 23, 2012, http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/eej201133a.html).

The methodologies of both studies are seriously flawed, and the conclusions reached are highly speculative at best and irresponsible at worst (i.e., recommendations regarding sleep amounts for children and adolescents are over-inflated and have no empirical validity; optimal sleep duration for adolescents in regards to test performance is seven hours/night).

The real issue, however, is that the resulting misinformation has been...

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