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How Much Sleep Do Kids Need by Age?

As someone who works closely with kids, I’ve seen firsthand how sleep can transform their days. It’s amazing to witness the excitement and joy in their faces when they’ve had enough rest. Sleep is more than just a time for kids to rest; it’s a crucial part of their growth and development. Understanding the sleep requirements by age is vital for parents and caregivers to ensure their kids are getting the right amount of sleep. In this blog, we’ll explore how much sleep kids need at different stages, why it’s important, and tips to help establish good sleep habits.

Why Sleep is Crucial for Kids

Sleep is not just about recharging the body; it plays a key role in a child’s development. From boosting brain function to enhancing emotional well-being, sleep impacts various aspects of a child’s health. For instance, proper sleep helps with:

  • Memory consolidation
  • Growth and physical development
  • Mood regulation
  • Strengthening the immune system

Research shows that kids who get adequate sleep perform better academically and have fewer behavioral issues. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to struggle with attention, behavior, and learning issues.

How much sleep do kids need by age? A toddler is sound asleep.
Read more: How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need?

Sleep Requirements by Age

Understanding how much sleep kids need at each stage of their lives can help you ensure they are well-rested and healthy. Here’s a breakdown of sleep requirements by age:

Infants (0-3 Months)

Infants need the most sleep of any age group. They typically require 14-17 hours of sleep per day, including naps. During this stage, sleep patterns are irregular, but that’s perfectly normal as they adjust to life outside the womb.

Infants (4-12 Months)

As infants grow, their sleep needs decrease slightly to 12-16 hours per day, including naps. Establishing a bedtime routine can help regulate their sleep patterns and make it easier for them to fall asleep.

Toddlers (1-2 Years)

Toddlers need about 11-14 hours of sleep each day, including naps. Consistent bedtimes and nap times are crucial for this age group to ensure they get enough rest.


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Preschoolers (3-5 Years)

Preschoolers require 10-13 hours of sleep per day, including naps. At this stage, many kids start to drop their naps, so ensuring a good night’s sleep becomes even more important.

School-age Kids (6-13 Years)

School-age kids need around 9-12 hours of sleep each night. Busy schedules and screen time can interfere with their sleep, so it’s essential to create a calming bedtime routine.

Teens (14-17 Years)

Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. However, due to academic pressures and social activities, many teens do not get enough sleep. Encouraging good sleep hygiene can help them develop healthy sleep habits.

Tips for Establishing Good Sleep Habits

Here are some tips to help your kids develop good sleep habits:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath.
  • Ensure the sleep environment is quiet, dark, and cool.
  • Limit screen time before bed to reduce blue light exposure.
  • Encourage physical activity during the day to help kids expend energy.
How much sleep do kids need by age? A father reads from a story book to his daughter as she falls asleep.
Read more: How Much Sleep Is Too Much Child Sleep Chart By Age

Addressing Sleep Challenges in Neurodivergent Kids

Neurodivergent kids, such as those with autism or ADHD, may face additional challenges when it comes to sleep. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Use visual schedules to help them understand the bedtime routine.
  • Incorporate sensory-friendly items, like weighted blankets or white noise machines, to create a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Be patient and consistent with the bedtime routine, as changes can be more difficult for neurodivergent kids to adapt to.

Ensuring your kids get the right amount of sleep is essential for their overall health and well-being. By understanding the sleep requirements by age and implementing good sleep habits, you can help your kids thrive both physically and mentally. Remember, every child is different, so be flexible and patient as you find what works best for your family.

Goally | Routines that Actually Work

Goally’s skill building tablet for kids has routines that break down large tasks into small, achievable steps. It helps kids complete their tasks independently! 

A notification from the Goally Parent App on the best tablet for kids indicating the start of a potty routine, demonstrating parental control features.


Create custom routines with your own videos & pictures for every step. The steps come in small, bite-sized pieces to help your child learn the little fundamentals (like putting the toothpaste on their toothbrush!) to achieve bigger goals. And that’s just the beginning. See it in action:

Getting enough sleep is vital for kids’ development at every stage. By understanding the recommended sleep requirements by age, watching for signs of sleep deprivation, and implementing healthy sleep habits, you can help your child thrive. Whether you have an infant, tween, or any age in between, prioritizing sleep is one of the most powerful ways to support your child’s well-being. With care and consistency, you can give your child the gift of a well-rested childhood.

Resources:


FAQs about Sleep Requirements by Age

How much sleep do kids need by age?
As a general rule, toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep, preschoolers need 10-13 hours, school-aged children require 9-11 hours, and teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

Do all kids need the same amount of sleep?
No, sleep requirements can vary significantly between children, even of the same age. Individual needs, growth phases, and neurodiversity, such as ADHD or Autism, can affect sleep needs.

Why is a consistent bedtime routine important for kids?
A consistent bedtime routine helps signal to a child that it's time to wind down and sleep, supporting healthier sleep patterns and overall cognitive and physical development.

How can I create an effective bedtime routine for my child?
Effective bedtime routines include setting a regular bedtime, creating a calm pre-bed environment, and maintaining consistency with the routine every nights.

How does the lack of sleep affect a child's learning and growth?
Lack of sleep can impact a child's cognitive function, emotional regulation, attention, memory, and overall learning capability. Adequate sleep supports healthy brain development and function.

This post was originally published on 04/03/2023. It was updated on 06/07/2024.

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