how much sleep does a kid need?

how much sleep does a kid need?

From infants to school-age children and adolescents, parents want to know the recommended sleep time. It is true that different people have different sleep needs, but there are some very reasonable, science-based guidelines that can help you determine whether your child is getting the sleep he or she needs to grow, learn, and play.

Children's sleep guide

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides some useful guidelines on how much sleep a child needs at different stages of development (picture below). Remember, these numbers reflect the total sleep time in 24 hours. So, if your son or daughter is still napping, you need to take this into account when calculating his or her typical sleep time.

how much sleep does a kid need


4-12 months baby: 12-16 hours
1-2 years old children: 11-14 hours
Toddlers aged 3-5: 10-13 hours
Children aged 6-12: 9-12 hours
13-18 years old teenagers: 8-10 hours

Do these numbers surprise you?

So, are you early enough to send your child to bed? If you are surprised by these numbers, especially office workers and single parents (often forced to sleep 5, 6 hours or less every night). This may affect your own social and psychological functions and increase your risk of other health problems.

You might think that your child can also sleep less, or they should be able to cope well with the occasional few hours of sleep. However, all children like a regular schedule.

Frequent sleep deprivation usually leads to some fairly difficult behaviors and health problems, irritability, inattention, high blood pressure, obesity, headaches and depression. Children with adequate sleep have healthier immune systems, better academic performance, behavior, memory and mental health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the AASM guidelines and encourages parents to ensure that their children develop good sleep habits from the start.

Make adequate sleep a priority for the family

Understand the importance of adequate sleep and how sleep affects the overall health of you and your child.

Remember that you are a role model for your children; set a good example. You work all night long by yourself, and you are not really delivering the right message. Make sleep your own priority, and show your child that sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle, such as eating properly and exercising regularly.

The same wake-up time, meal time, nap time, and play time will help your child feel safe and comfortable, and help fall asleep smoothly. For children, it is very helpful for children to go to bed early, such as brushing their teeth, reading, and sleeping.

Make sure that the sleep program you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child sleep anywhere.

Master the methods for kids to develop good sleep habits

1. Be active during the day and monitor screen time. Make sure your child has a variety of fun activities throughout the day, including sports activities and fresh air.

It is recommended that all screen TVs, computers, laptops, tablets and phones are kept away from children’s bedrooms, especially at night. To prevent sleep interruption, please turn off all screens at least 60 minutes/1 hour before going to bed.

2. Create a bedroom and home environment conducive to sleep and safety. Dim the light before going to bed to control the temperature in the house. Don't stuff your child's bed with toys. Make your child's bed a place to sleep, not a place to play.

3. Recognize that teenagers need more sleep, not less. Most middle and high schools require students to arrive at school earlier. I have always advocated that middle and high schools postpone the start of classes to 8:30 in the morning or later. Let young people get the healthy sleep they need.

Do not start eating solid foods before 4 or 6 months. Starting solid food early will not help your baby get a good sleep. In fact, if you feed your baby solid food, their system is not good for digestion, and he or she may sleep worse with a stomachache.

5. Avoid arranging too many tasks for children at night. In addition to homework, many children today have arranged evening activities (such as sports meetings, classes, appointments, etc.), which poses a challenge for a good night’s sleep. Take time to relax and give the children the rest time they need.

6. Learn to recognize sleep problems. The most common sleep problems in children include difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night, snoring, procrastinating and resisting sleep, sleep apnea, and breathing during sleep.

7. Talk to your child's teacher or childcare worker about your child's mental attention during the day. Sleep problems may also occur during the day. Children with insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality may have difficulty concentrating in school.

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