A good night’s sleep makes for perkier, better-behaved children. But how much sleep is enough?
The following age-based recommendations can help answer that question.
The guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine are supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. They suggest the following amounts of sleep for good health:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
- Children 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
- Children 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
- Children 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours.
- Teens 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours.
“Adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said.
“Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity and depression, especially for teens who may experience increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts,” the guideline authors added in an academy news release.
The guidelines were published June 13 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
“The AAP endorses the guidelines and encourages pediatricians to discuss these recommendations and healthy sleep habits with parents and teens during clinical visits,” the pediatricians’ group said.
These experts also recommend that all electronic screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that TVs, computers and other screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms.
“For infants and young children, establishing a bedtime routine is important to ensuring children get adequate sleep each night,” the group noted.
The National Sleep Foundation has more on children and sleep.