Here’s How Much Sleep Children Really Need

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There’s enough to worry about as parents. Thanks recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), figuring out how much sleep your kids actually need should no longer be one of them.

In 2016, The AAP endorsed the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) recommendations about how much sleep children need at different ages for optimum health.

The recommendations are as follows:

  • Infants from 4 to 12 months should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep (including naps)
  • Children 1 to 2 years old should get 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 3 to 5 should get 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
  • Children 6 to 12 year olds should sleep 9 to 12 hours a night
  • Teenagers should get from 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night

If you’re anything like our family and bedtime can be a struggle, the AAP recommends establishing a consistent bedtime routine that includes brushing teeth, reading a book or two (has anyone tried reading “The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep” book that’s supposedly lulls kids to sleep?), and then hitting the hay.

If you need help determining an official “lights out” time at home, check out this helpful chart, which shows the ideal bedtime based on a child’s age and when he or she needs to wake up.

If you are waking a 5-year-old at 6:30 a.m., for example, bedtime should be 7:15 p.m. A 10-year-old who gets up at 6:30 a.m., however, should be OK getting to bed by 8:30 p.m.

What time do kids go to bed in your house?

Photo by Lars Plougmann