Thursday, May 26

How much sleep should children get every night and what are the risks if they don’t?



The baby boy has now been treated with hormone therapy and his symptoms have decreased (Picture: [copyright]) Parents now have fresh ammunition for when their children blame them for strict bedtimes.

A panel of US experts has released new information on how much sleep children should be getting. It ranges from up to 16 hours a day for babies to at least eight hours for teens.

The guidelines released Monday are the first-ever for children from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They encompass recommendations the American Academy of Pediatrics has made at different times for different ages.

According to the guidelines, adequate sleep is linked with improved attention, behavior, learning, mental and physical health at every age covered. And insufficient sleep increases risks for obesity, diabetes, accidents, depression and in teens, self-harm including suicide attempts.

The recommendations are based on a review of scientific evidence on sleep duration and health.

Recommended daily/nightly sleep duration is:

– 12 to 16 hours including naps for children aged between 4 to 12 months. Younger infants aren’t included because they have a wide range of normal sleep patterns.

– 11 to 14 hours including naps for children aged 1 to 2 years.

– 10 to 13hours including naps for children aged 3 to 5 years.

– 9 to 12 hours for children aged 6 to 12 years.

– 8 to 10 hours for teens aged 13 to 18 years.