New guidelines have been published outlining how much sleep children should be getting per night.
The recommended amount of sleep varies by age, ranging from 8 hours for teens, up to 16 hours (including naps) for babies.
- Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
- Children 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
- Children 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
- Children 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
- Teens 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
The guidelines, which have been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children aged 3 to 5 years should sleep for 10 to 13 hours a day. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 should sleep between 9 and 12 hours a day, while teenagers aged 13 to 18 should sleep 8 to 10 hours per day.
In order to come up with new guidelines, researchers investigated the relationship between sleep duration and children’s health. There are no sleep recommendations for babies younger than 4 months, due to a lack of scientific evidence linking infants’ health outcomes to sleep duration.
“Adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health,” the AAP said.
“Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries,hypertension, obesity and depression, especially for teens who may experience increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts,” the guideline authors added in an academy news release.
The guidelines also suggest that all electronic screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that TVs, computers and other screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms.
“For infants and young children, establishing a bedtime routine is important to ensuring children get adequate sleep each night,” the group noted.
The guidelines were published June 13 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.