Childhood Sleep Guidelines
For years, there has been debate regarding the number of hours our children should be sleeping for optimal health. The sleep requirements for youngsters varies depending on age and is quite different from the hours needed by adults.
In my own personal experience, I have found that my sleep requirements have changed dramatically as I have gotten older and previous notions suggesting that everyone needs 8 hours of shut-eye is not particularly accurate.
After much deliberation, a panel of the nation’s top sleep experts, have come to agreement on pediatric sleep expectations. These recommendations have been made official by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The following excerpt was taken from the Healthy Sleep Newsletter Summer 2016, provided by our friends and colleagues at:
Pediatric Sleep Recommendations
For the first time, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has released official consensus recommendations for the amount of sleep needed to promote optimal health in children and teenagers to avoid the health risks of insufficient sleep. The recommendations in the consensus statement are as follows:
- Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
The recommendations followed a 10-month project conducted by a Pediatric Consensus Panel of 13 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts, and are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Sleep Research Society and the American Association of Sleep Technologists. The expert panel reviewed 864 published scientific articles addressing the relationship between sleep duration and health in children, evaluated the evidence using a formal grading system, and arrived at the final recommendations after multiple rounds of voting.
Click on graph for PDF version.