How Much Sleep Is Normal For Kids?

Adequate sleep is essential for anyone of any age but is especially important for children, who are often in the midst of growth and development phases that can be highly impacted by one’s quality and style of life. So, how much sleep is normal for kids?

This is why it’s important to keep track of exactly how much sleep your child needs to be healthy and continue a normal development track. It can make a big difference in terms of their long-term health and prevent sleep disorders in kids.

How Much Sleep Is Normal For Kids?

If you have a child who’s having sleep issues, or you just want to keep track of their schedule, take a look at this brief overview on the subject.

Healthy Sleep Patterns

During sleep, the brain cycles between the two primary modes of sleep: non-REM and REM sleep. These two micro-cycles make up the larger sleep cycle of one’s life.

Babies and children spend more time overall in REM sleep, and their sleep cycles are overall shorter than adults. As children age, they spend less time in REM sleep and their sleep cycles become longer. By the time a child starts regular school, their sleep cycles are of a similar length to a full-grown adult.

The different sleep cycles are as follows:

  • Stage 1 and 2 non-REM sleep: During this stage of sleep, a person can wake up easily. Their eye movements slow down, their heart and breathing rates slow down, and their body temperature decreases.
  • Stage 3 non-REM sleep is deep sleep: During this sleep phase, it’s harder to wake someone up. Stranger phenomena such as nightmares, sleepwalking and more can occur during this stage. During this sleep cycle, the body releases hormones that are needed for growth and development.
  • REM Sleep: During this stage of sleep, the eyes move quickly under the eyelids, breathing gets faster, and the heart beats faster. You can’t move your arms or legs during REM sleep. This is when we have our most intense dreams, and it’s considered important for learning and memory.

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

How much sleep you need exactly largely has to do with the exact age of your child. The following points should be referenced:

  • 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
  • 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
  • 1-2 years: 11-14
  • 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • School-age: 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers: 8-10 hours

Once your child moves past their teen years, the amount of sleep that they need will become more personal, and they will likely adjust to needing the normal amount of adult sleep. This typically ranges between 6 and 8 hours.

Signs Your Child Isn’t Sleeping Enough

You can likely tell if your child isn’t getting enough sleep if you witness some of the following indicators occur:

  • Hyperactivity (especially in younger children)
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Struggling with schoolwork
  • Behavioral problems

Identifying these issues early on can help you nip them in the bud before they start to impact your child’s sleep and health excessively.

What Can Help Your Child Sleep?

There are several steps you can take to try to curb your child’s sleeping habits and create a more consistent schedule. This can give you a lot of advantages in terms of giving your child a healthy routine and attitude towards sleep.

  • Try to maintain a regular bedtime. You can give your child a heads up 30 minutes and then 1 hour prior to when you’re going to put them to sleep.
  • Turn off all screens at least 1 hour prior to bedtime. This includes TV, phones, tablets, and video games. Think about removing all of these devices from your child’s bedroom.
  • Encourage older children and young teenagers to set a bedtime that gives them the full amount of sleep that they need. A proper bedtime routine can include cleaning up, brushing their teeth, or listening to relaxing music before they go to sleep.

All in all, establishing these healthy habits can give you and your child a leg up in the struggle to maintain a healthy sleep schedule in the face of all of the distractions in today’s modern world that prevent children from maintaining adequate levels of sleep. This discipline will pay its dues down the line.

The Best Sleep Doctor in New York

Dr. Mayank Shukla and the rest of the team at the Asthma and Sleep Institute are dedicated to maintaining both their adult and child patients. If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss the sleep patterns of your children, feel free to reach out and contact Dr. Shukla today.

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