How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

Every human body craves a good night’s sleep, no matter how young or old it is. As adults, it can be difficult to establish a healthy sleep schedule when busy workdays lead to stressed and fitful nights. But what about your kids? Can they get more or less sleep than you and still be healthy? How much sleep do children need, exactly?

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

Just like adults, the answer to this question can differ. Every child is different and may need a certain amount of sleep based on their other health needs. Your sleep doctor in New York can give you a few guidelines to help you figure out exactly how much sleep your child should be getting at night.

Age Matters

The age of your child will determine how much sleep they should be getting on a daily basis. Babies less than one month old will typically sleep 15-18 hours out of the day during 1-2 hour spurts. By 6-8 weeks old, your child will start to develop certain sleep patterns and circadian rhythms that are more in tune with the day-night cycle we experience as adults. They may sleep up to 6 hours at a time and should sleep 15 hours total.

Children between 1-3 years old should get around 14 hours of sleep as a combination of long naps and nightly bedtime. By age 6, children should experience 10-12 hours of sleep with most of that being overnight. As kids grow into adolescents and preteens, they may start to sleep for 8-10 hours a day all through the night. Keep in mind that the above figures are averages and you should still figure out how much sleep your child needs to feel fully rested.

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Your child may be at an age where you don’t have to watch over them all through the night while they sleep. But that doesn’t mean they sleep soundly for several hours on end. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out if your child needs to visit a sleep doctor for an assessment:

  • Does my child like to sleep during the day and take lots of naps?
  • Does my child often sleep in on the weekends?
  • Is it difficult waking up my child to get them out of bed in the morning?
  • Does my child often talk about being tired?
  • Is my child irritable or anxious?

If even one of those questions has been answered with a yes, then it is likely that your child is not getting enough sleep. You should schedule an appointment with your local sleep specialists in order to get professional guidance to help your child experience more restful sleep.

Tips for Longer and Better Sleep

You and your child could both benefit from a reassessment of your bedtime routines and sleep schedules. Try to practice these habits with your child from now on:

  • Make sure the bedtime and sleep routine allow for at least 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Schedule regular waking up times so your child can get into a good habit.
  • Invest in calming activities that put the mind at ease before bed.
  • Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.
  • Hold each other accountable for prioritizing healthy sleep.

Get Your Child’s Sleep Schedule Back on Track!

If you worry that your child isn’t getting enough sleep, you might want to set an appointment for them to be assessed by a sleep doctor. Our certified staff can find the best sleep disorder treatment for children based on your child’s symptoms and needs. Sleep is one of the most important things that your body needs to stay healthy, and it should be addressed right away. Invest in your and your child’s health ASAP!

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