How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? Sleep Requirements for Kids & the Benefits of Developing Healthy Sleep Habits by All Things For Kids
Ask almost any parent and they'll tell you that sleep is important for children of all ages. But how many parents know how much sleep kids really need, why they need it, and the effects if children don't get enough sleep? With nearly half of American kids not getting enough sleep, parents need to know more about the benefits of developing healthy sleep habits.
Why Kids Need Sleep
Sleep is crucial for kids' mind, body and growth, and can even effect how well they do in school. Healthy sleep habits aid in so many critical aspects of a child's development – physically and mentally. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep has effects on:
- attention span
- cognitive performance
- executive attention
- motor skill development
Sleep Requirement for Kids
Kids require different amounts of sleep as they age. Here's a breakdown, but keep in mind that the numbers refer to a 24-hour period, so if your baby or child is still taking naps, be sure to include that in your child’s total sleep hour calculation.
- Newborns: During the first four weeks, newborns need, on average, between 15 and 18 hours per day, but they generally sleep for short periods of time of between 2 and 4 hours. Once Baby is 1 and 4 months old, they will need around 14 or 15 hours of sleep.
- Toddlers: One- to 3-year-olds need around 12 to 14 hours of sleep each day and will start napping just once per day, although naps can be anywhere from 1 hour to 3 1/2 hours long.
- Preschoolers: Three- to 5-year-olds need 10 to 13 hours per day. Naps become increasingly shorter and may be dropped all together before they are 5.
- Kids: Six- to 12-year-olds need 9 to 11 hours per day to keep up with school, social activities, sports, etc.
- Teenagers: Older kids 13 to 18 years usually get less sleep than they need. Studies show that teens need 8 to 9 hours.
Kids use a lot of energy while they're growing, learning and playing, so make sure they're well equipped with adequate amounts of sleep. If you feel your child isn't getting enough sleep, or needs to develop healthier sleep habits, reach out to your health-care provider or pediatrician for personalized support.
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