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Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

What your kids do during the night has a huge impact on their daily lives. Sleep plays a key role in mental, physical and emotional health, from infancy through the teen years and beyond.

Experts at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have reviewed the research and arrived at a target slumber number for each age group. Their science-based guidelines advise the following daily sleep totals:

  • 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours
  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • 6 to 12 years: nine to 12 hours
  • 13 to 18 years: eight to 10 hours

Good Rest Offers Many Rewards

The right amount of sleep helps kids do better in school, behave and regulate their emotions. Adequate rest also wards off health problems like high blood pressure, extra weight and heart issues.

Many children—and adults—don’t get enough sleep. But snoozing too much also poses health risks, such as obesity and diabetes. The guidelines can help you steer your child into the healthy range.

Set Your Child Up for Successful Slumber

Most kids fight back against bedtime. Help them make friends with the sandman with:

  • Modeling. Kids learn by watching you. Show them you value sleep, and they’ll start to understand its importance.
  • Routine. Keep the times for sleep, waking, naps and play around the same time every day. Develop soothing nighttime rituals, such as reading.
  • No screens. Ban phones, TVs, laptops and tablets from kids’ bedrooms. Shut them down at least 60 minutes before bedtime. 
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