How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
The consensus group recommends the following sleep hours: Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
Children at this age typically go to bed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and wake up around 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., just as they did when they were younger. At age 3, most children are still napping, while at age 5, most are not. Naps gradually become shorter, as well. New sleep problems do not usually develop after age 3.
Bedtime is important also because it teaches the child a key skill (falling asleep at a set time) for physical and mental health. Lack of sleep adversely affects physical and emotional functioning.
Bedtime is too late – Going to bed in an overtired state is one of the most common reasons children wake too early the next morning. … Too much day sleep – When children take too many naps for their age, or sleep too much during the day, this can lead to shortened night sleep and an early wake up call.
And although many sleep experts suggest that young kids go to bed between 6 and 8 p.m., half of American toddlers and preschoolers, and 64 percent of kids in first through fifth grades, go to bed after 9 p.m. Studies have shown that what time a child goes to bed is closely linked to how much he or she sleeps.
How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
“Parents need time to themselves.” However, Dr. Owens says there’s probably nothing intrinsically harmful about letting kids stay up late, provided—and this is the crucial part—that they go to bed about the same time every night and get enough sleep overall. As Dr.
Start by putting your child to bed 15 minutes earlier for a day or two ― and then continue moving it up by 15 more minutes each night. Do this until they’re sleeping the appropriate amount of time and their wake–up time is manageable for you both.
The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on the individual and certain factors, including the child’s age. Here are some general guidelines:
1-4 weeks: 15-16 hours per day
Newborns typically sleep about 15 to 18 hours a day, but only for short periods of two to four hours. Premature babies can sleep longer, while babies with colic can sleepless.
Because newborns do not yet have an internal body clock or circadian rhythm, their sleep patterns are not linked to the day and night cycles. In fact, they tend not to have a lot of models at all.
Typically, most 4-week-old babies will sleep for 16-18 hours per 24-hour cycle, with several naps during the day and one or two longer “stretches” at night.
How much sleep does a toddler need?
It is recommended that toddlers get between 11 and 14 hours of total sleep every day. Their napping decreases compared to infants and frequently accounts for around 1-2 hours of daily sleep. Two naps per day are normal at the start of this period, but it’s not uncommon for older toddlers to take only an afternoon nap.
One–month–old babies slept an average of 8 hours each night, with 96% of babies getting between 6 and 13.3 hours of nighttime sleep. At 3 months, babies spent more time sleeping at night–10 hours, on average.
1-4 months: 14-15 hours per day
Infants up to 3 months old should get 14–17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Many will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer “sleeping through the night” stretch after a late-night feeding.
By 6 weeks of age, your baby will start to settle in a bit, and you may notice more regular sleep patterns emerging. The longest periods of sleep last four to six hours and now tend to occur more regularly in the evening. The day-night confusion ends.
Guidelines from the NSF state that infants (4-11 months old) should get between 12 and 15 hours of sleep per day. AASM and AAP guidelines, which recommend 12-16 total hours, closely track those of the NSF. It is normal for infants to sleep for 3-4 hours during the day.
4-12 months: 14-15 hours per day
While up to 3 p.m. is ideal, most infants up to 11 months only sleep around 12 hours. Establishing healthy sleep patterns is a primary goal during this time as your baby is now much more social and her sleep patterns are more similar to adults.
Babies typically take three naps and drop to two around 6 months of age, by which time (or earlier) they are physically able to sleep through the night. Establishing regular naps usually occurs at the end of this period, as biological rhythms mature.
The mid-morning nap usually starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about an hour. The early afternoon nap begins between noon and 2 p.m. and lasts an hour or two. And the late afternoon nap can start anywhere from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and generally varies in length.
Guidelines from the NSF state that infants (4-11 months old) should get between 12 and 15 hours of sleep per day. AASM and AAP guidelines, which recommend 12-16 total hours, closely track those of the NSF.
Most preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep a night, and some still nap during the day. Preschoolers sometimes have sleep problems like getting out of bed, as well as nightmares and night terrors. A consistent bedtime routine is the best way to handle many preschooler sleep problems.
At 12 months old we’ll continue to aim for at least 13.5 hours of total sleep per day (11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours of day sleep over 2 naps). Most children need 3-4 hours of awake time in between sleep periods at this age.
1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day
As your child goes through the first year around the age of 18 to 21 months, they will likely lose their morning and early evening naps and naps just once a day. While toddlers need 14 hours of sleep a day, they usually only get about 10.
Most children around the age of 21 to 36 months still need a nap per day, which can last from one to three and a half hours. They usually go to bed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Preschoolers: After age 2, not every child needs a nap, though some 3– or 4-year–olds will still benefit from one. Preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours of sleep a day, but it’s more important for them to get a solid night’s rest than it is for them to nap.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes a strong stance against co-sleeping with children under age 1. The AAP does recommend room sharing for the first 6 months of a child’s life, though, as this safe practice can greatly reduce the risk of SIDS.
Most toddlers are ready for bed between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm. This is a good time, because they sleep deepest between 8 pm and midnight. It’s important to keep the routine consistent on weekends as well as during the week.
3-6 years: 10-12 hours per day
Children this age usually go to bed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and waking up around 6 and 8 a.m., as they did when they were younger. At 3 years old, most children still nap, while at 5 years old most are not. Naps are also getting shorter. New sleep problems usually don’t develop after the age of 3.
Preschooler sleep: what to expect. Most preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep a night, and some still nap during the day. Preschoolers sometimes have sleep problems like getting out of bed, as well as nightmares and night terrors. A consistent bedtime routine is the best way to handle many preschooler sleep problems.
6.45 pm: put on pajamas, brush teeth, go to the toilet. 7.15 pm: quiet time in the bedroom with a book and a bedtime story or quiet chat. 7.30 pm: goodnight and lights out.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children ages 3 to 5 get 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night, while children ages 6 to 13 years need 9 to 11 hours of sleep nightly. So if you have a 6-year-old child, that means he or she should be in bed by 7 p.m. — at least in theory.
7-12 years: 10-11 hours per day
At these ages, with social, school, and family activities, bedtime gradually becomes later and later, with most 12-year-olds going to bed around 9 p.m. There is still a wide range of bedtime times, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as total sleep hours, 9 to 12 hours, although the average is only around 9 hours.
However it’s one question that we get asked a lot – how much sleep does my child need? While there is no hard and fast rule, the general guide is toddlers need around 12 hours of sleep a night; children aged three to six – 10-12 hours; seven-12 years olds – 10-11 hours; and teenagers – around eight to nine hours.
12-18 years old: 8 to 9 hours per day
Sleep needs remain just as vital to the health and well-being of adolescents as when they were younger. It turns out that many teens may need more sleep than in previous years. However, for many teens, social pressures conspire to not get the right amount and quality of sleep.
How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued an endorsement statement supporting the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines outlining the recommended amount of sleep for children, from infants to adolescents.
The guidelines, “Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations” will be published on June 13 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The AAP endorses the guidelines and encourages pediatricians to discuss these recommendations and healthy sleep patterns with parents and teens during clinic visits.
The consensus group recommends the following sleep hours:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Friends Children, 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
The group found that an age-appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis leads to improvements in attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life. and mental and physical health.
Not getting enough sleep every night is associated with an increase in injuries, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression, especially in adolescents who may experience an increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
In addition to these recommendations, the AAP suggests that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that televisions, computers, and other screens not be allowed in children’s rooms.
For infants and toddlers, it is important to establish a bedtime routine to ensure that children get enough sleep every night.
Sleep is of utmost importance for young children. Early in life, a person experiences considerable development that affects the brain, body, emotions, and behavior and sets the stage for their continued growth through childhood and adolescence.
In light of this, it’s normal for parents to want to make sure their children, whether infants or toddlers, get the sleep they need.
After convening a panel of experts to review existing research, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) made recommendations on total daily sleep needs by age.
This week is National Sleep Awareness Week. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone, but even more important for children. Rachel Dawkins, M.D., of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, talks about the importance of sleep for children.
Why is a good night’s sleep important for children?
Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that children who regularly get enough sleep improved their attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression. Some children have trouble falling asleep and others have trouble staying asleep. What advice would you give to families to help children get enough sleep?
It is important to establish a consistent bedtime routine. The routine should ideally start at the same time every night. As soon as the sun goes down, start to “relax” the household.
- Dim the lights
- Stop using electronics/screens at least one hour before bedtime
- Limit caffeine
- Take a hot bath
- Do a quiet family activity like reading a little book
- If your child wakes up during the night, bring him back to his room with as little fuss as possible
- Set a wake-up time when the child is allowed out of their room. The child can play quietly until then if he wishes.
What should parents do if none of this works? Are there any medications to try?
If your child has daytime sleepiness or behavioral difficulties in school that you think could be related to lack of sleep, you should definitely see your pediatrician.
I would not recommend giving your child “sleeping pills” without first consulting your doctor as many of them are not safe for children.
* Disclaimer: Of course I can’t guarantee that you will have exactly the same success at the same time as I or the many other parents had since every child is unique.
How Much Sleep Do Children Need?