How much sleep should your kids be getting?

It is ironic that as adults, we are struggling to find time to get proper shut eye, while kids run away the moment you tell them that it is bedtime.

Although you don’t really have to worry about little babies as they can sleep for almost an entire day and just wake up for a few hours in between to be fed and cleaned; for growing kids, the world is a fascinating place and they want to explore every bit of it by staying up late. As parents, you need to ensure that your kids are getting ample amount of sleep for proper development of their bodies and mind. Kids also need more sleep than adults because they are still growing. Not getting adequate sleep can thus, result in concentration problems, lethargy during the day and in some cases, it can even trigger symptoms of ADHD.

The brain releases different neuro-transmitters during sleep that help repair, grow and regulate different parts of the body.

 

Babies (0-4 months)

At this stage, their brains are still like a sponge and are developing new neurons and synapses every day. Babies are still new to the world and sleep helps them adjust and grasp all the new sensory stimulations they receive during wake time.

Babies should get between 15-19 hours, give or take a couple of hours depending on your baby.

 

Infants (5-11 months)

As babies grow older, they require less sleep and more wake time to process the external stimulus, build memories and recognize faces. The recommended amount of sleep for infants is 12-16 hours - give or take one or two hours depending on your baby.

 

Toddlers (1-2 years old)

Toddlers have unrefined motor skills, yet they still need plenty of sleep to ensure proper growth and rest – 12 to 15 hours is the recommended amount. Toddlers divide their sleep time between day and night. Have 3-4 hours of nap time during the day and the rest of the time at night.

 

Pre-schoolers (3-5 years old)

This is the age their sleep time is gradually getting reduced by a couple of hours. They are busy learning at kindergarten and pre-school. They would still get their nap time breaks during the day at pre-school. Typically, kids at this age should be sleeping no less than 10-13 hours a day.

 

School going kids (6-13 years)

School kids need enough sleep for them to function properly during the day due to studies and sports. They should be sleeping anywhere from 9-11 hours.

 

Teens (14-18)

They are still not grown up and yet, with the addition of advanced studies, they need plenty of sleep. Kids in their teens also start doing part time jobs and at the end of the day, they need to be getting at least 8-10 hours a day.

 

Teens-adults (18 and above)

This is where the hours stop reducing and they should be sleeping 7-8 hours a day for optimum performance.

 

Sticking to these recommended hours will ensure proper rest for the body and mind.

 

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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