As parents, we all know that sleep is a good thing on a daily basis. Although, there is no ‘golden rule’ to the exact amount of sleep needed at different ages, and there are often individual variations in sleep requirements, sleep patterns, as well as tolerance to sleep deprivation.
In general, the duration of sleep is sufficient if the child feels well-rested on waking spontaneously, and is able to function normally throughout the day.
Some of the signs of insufficient sleep include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Mood disturbances
- Behavioral problems such as inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional behavior and poor impulse control
- Impaired cognitive functioning such as poor concentration, impaired vigilance, delayed reaction time and learning problems
How many hours of sleep do kids need?
Here are some recommendations, so you can have an idea about how many hours of sleep your kids need.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends for total hours of sleep by age. (You’ll notice a big variation in their ranges since children’s sleep needs can differ pretty substantially!)
Newborn to 2 months: 10.5–18 hours of sleep
3–12 months: 9.5–14 hours of sleep
1–3 years: 12–14 hours of sleep
3–5 years: 11–13 hours of sleep
5–12 years: 10–11 hours of sleep
13–18 years: 9 hours of sleep
Since you have an idea of how much sleep your kid need, hopefully you will make sleep a priority for kids and you’ll be amazed to see the benefits for both your kids (including alertness, enhanced mood, improved memory skills, and overall health) and yourself.
But really, the most important thing to accomplish is a nighttime routine to get your kids to bed on time. Start EARLY to be sure that your child doesn’t get overtired and battles you every step of the way.