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How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need?

Let’s face it, how many parents are NOT interested in their child sleeping well? We are yet to come across a single one! Happy rested babies and children tend to hand in hand with happy parents. 


If you are wondering whether your child is regularly getting enough sleep and are unsure as to what the normal amount of sleep is for their age, this quick read is for you. 


New research by a team of scientists at the Academy of Sleep Medicine has tried to debunk the myths and add some facts into the mix. Their findings are based upon scientifically proven links between health and sleep and we think that this table is a fairly useful rough guide as to what you should expect from your little one. 

  

Sleep Recommendations by Age

AGE


SLEEP REQUIRED PER 24 HOURS 

4-12 Months

12-16 hours (including naps)

1-2 Years

11-14 hours (including naps)

3-5 Years 

10-13 hours (including naps)

6-12 Years

9-12 hours

13-18 Years 

8-10 hours


What are the effects of a lack of sleep?

 

As most parents are well aware, a tired child is generally a cranky child but it is also proven that too little sleep can bring about problems relating to behaviour, learning and concentration as well as increased risk of accidents, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and depression. (In the case of teenagers – insufficient sleep can also be associated with self-harming and suicide)

 

Is there any such thing as too much sleep?


In the early years, getting too much sleep is unlikely to be associated with any significant problems. However, scientists have identified that consistently getting more than the recommended amount of sleep may be associated with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and mental health issues. 

 

The impact of a child getting the RIGHT amount of sleep


It comes as no surprise that the study has proven that getting the right amount of sleep on a regular basis yields positive benefits. Getting it right should result in improved concentration, behaviour, learning, emotional stability, memory and both general mental and physical health.


As with everything baby and child related, every child is different. The above guidelines are a great guide but try not to panic when your child goes through tricky sleep patterns. Our experience tells us that most of them are fairly short lived!