The Amount of Sleep Children and Adolescents Need to Be Healthy, According to Experts
Babies, children and adolescents need more sleep than the average adult . Over the years, we’ve heard different but similar ranges from different sources , but now a recent consensus statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has helped put an end to this debate.
The panel spent 10 months reviewing more than 864 scientific studies examining the relationship between sleep and health in children. They came up with the following ideal sleep times to maintain optimal health for babies, children, and adolescents:
- Infants (4-12 months): 12 to 16 hours (including sleep).
- Children (1-2 years old): 11 to 14 hours (including naps).
- Children (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours (including sleep).
- Children (6-12 years old): 9 to 12 hours.
- Teenagers (13-18 years old): 8-10 hours.
It is important to note that these recommendations are based on a 24 hour period and that the benefits of healthy sleep also require regular and good quality sleep. These recommendations were endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics , the Sleep Research Society, and the American Association of Sleep Technologists .
This amount of sleep helps these groups of people avoid the negative effects of insufficient sleep, such as an increased risk of injury, accidents, hypertension, and depression, according to a study. Interestingly, they found that sleeping longer than the recommended time was not better for them either. If you are a parent who is concerned about your child’s sleep patterns (too much or too little), talk to your pediatrician about what you can do to improve their sleep quality .
Recommended Duration of Sleep for the Pediatric Population: Consensus Statement by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine | Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
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