For children, how much sleep is enough?
Better quality of sleep has obvious health benefits, like improved attention and memory, but this is particularly important for children. So how much sleep should your child be getting? Doctors agree that the right amount of sleep for children varies by age:
- Infants. Babies that are 4 to 12 months old should be sleeping for 12 to 16 hours a day, including naps.
- Young children. If your child is around 1 to 2 years old, they need 11 to 14 hours of sleep each day, plus naps.
- Toddlers. 3- to 5-year-olds require 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day including naps.
- Older children. Children between 6 and 12 should aim to sleep between nine and 12 hours a day.
- Teenagers. Teens – age 13 to 18 – should get eight to 10 hours of sleep per day.
Getting the right amount of sleep is as important for children as nutrition and exercise. Sufficient sleep not only improves mood, it can lower your child’s chances of becoming overweight, of developing diabetes and of having attention or learning problems.