How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?

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Small babies and children need more sleep than grown-ups. This is because they are constantly developing – both mentally and psychically. The majority of parents know that their growing children need a good amount of sleep. What they don't know, is exactly how much is typical for certain age ranges. Moreover, parents are sometimes unaware what kind of impact missing up to an hour of rest can have.

Among the reasons why it can be difficult to know when our children aren't sleeping enough is that they don't always slow down like adults do. Those who have experience with toddlers know how they sometimes seem to have more energy then tired. They can seem hyperactive because they're trying to stay awake and delay their bedtime.

There are other causes that can also interrupt a child's resting patterns. Do they have a comfortable mattress? Do they need a quieter setting? Is their bedtime too late or too early? The list goes on. In a lot of cases changing the environment or habits can help solve the problem. To make sure, you should seek the advice of your family doctor or pediatrician if you suspect something is wrong. A health care professional will be able to put your concerns to rest.

No two children are the same when it comes to how much rest they need. However, we can offer general guidelines for different age groups:

0-3 months

It's considered that newborns that are up to three months old need 14-17 hours of sleep per day. More than 19 hours and less than 11 hours are not recommended. Additionally, your baby might sleep 18-19 hours or 11-13 hours and still be perfectly healthy.

4-11 months

Infants that are 4 to 11 months old tend to sleep 12-15 hours in most cases. It is also appropriate if they rest 10-11 hours and 16-18 hours. But, if you notice that they're out for more than 18 hours or less than 10, you might need change something in their routine.

1-2 years

As time passes, children require less sleep. On average, you can expect them to hit the sack for 11-14 hours. It may also be appropriate for them to snooze for 9-10 or 15-16 hours. More than 16 hours and less than 9 hours are not recommended.

3-5 years

Preschoolers on average get 10-13 hours of rest a night. They can also go on with 8-9 hours or 14 hours. Less than 8 hours and more than 14 hours are not recommended.


6-13 years

It is advised for school-aged kids to rest between 9 and 11 hours each night. But, they might also sleep for 7-8 hours or even 12, depending on their inner clock. Less than 7 hours is unusual, as well as more than 11 hours.

14-17 years

Teenagers can have hectic schedules, and puberty doesn't help. Despite that, they should get 8-10 hours of rest per night, with 7 or 11 hours being appropriate. Less than 6 and more than 11 hours can cause problems.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

The Sleep Advisor