Kids Health

Kids-health is a site packed with hints and tips to keep you and the family healthy.

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?


During school holidays the chances are your little angels have been getting used to extended bedtimes! The kids-health kids certainly have. My 9 year old now feels quite cheated if his holiday bed time is announced before 9pm even though he could quite well be cranky the next day.
So as the new school term is here we have got him back into bed at a decent time to ensure he is able to work properly in class and not be as grouchy with his schoolmates as he is with his family!

How much sleep do kids need?

Children of different ages need different amounts of sleep and below is a general guide from doctors. You may find your child needs more or less sleep however.

1-4 Weeks Old: 15 – 18 hours per day

Newborns typically sleep about 15 to 18 hours a day, but only in short periods of two to four hours. Premature babies may sleep longer. Babies of this age are not fussy whether they sleep at night or day!

1-12 Months Old: 14 – 15 hours per day

By 6 weeks babies begin to settle down a bit, and regular sleep patterns emerge. The longest periods of sleep run for four to six hours and occur more regularly in the evening. Day and night confusion ends. As a baby approaches 6 months of age, they should be sleeping far more at night time and having shorter naps in the day. Establishing a good sleep pattern at this age makes babies more alert and sociable.
1-3 Years Old: 12 – 14 hours per day

Daytime naps gradually reduce at about 18 months to just one during the day. Most children up to the age of 3 need at least one nap per day.

3-6 Years Old: 10 – 12 hours per day

Children of this age tend to have a set bedtime and waking time. Setting consistent times is crucial to ensure your child is at their best during the day. After all, it is during the day that they are learning and having new experiences. A tired and cranky child will not be so receptive to new experiences and could miss important learning and development opportunities.

7-12 Years Old: 10 – 11 hours per day

Between 7 and 12 years of age your child still needs a hefty amount of sleep. In reality, very few actually get the amount they need. The average amount of sleep for this age group has been calculated as a startling 9 hours. That is not enough for a young growing body and mind. Getting your child to bed between 8 and 9pm will ensure they are alert and bright the next morning.

12-18 Years Old: 8 – 9 hours per day

Whilst teenagers only need 8-9 hours sleep many will make the most of their lie-ins and will emerge in time for lunch on a Saturday or Sunday! Staying up late is ok once in a while (but not on a school night). Regular late nights are detrimental to health and you can educate your child about the necessity for a good night’s rest.

Enough Sleep for School

So, now the school holidays are over, it is worth getting the kids back into a proper sleep routine for best performance at school. Now I’m not suggesting that’s easy – some of the greatest battles in our house are over bedtimes – but I am giving it a go so I don’t have to drag my grumpy kids from their beds to the school gates!



Categories: General Health