How much sleep do kids need?

Most parents would agree that establishing healthy sleep habits is absolutely essential for growing kids. But how much do you really know about sleep? How much sleep do kids really need, and what’s the impact if they miss out on an hour or even half an hour?

Most that establishing healthy sleep habits is absolutely essential for growing kids. But how much do you really know about sleep? How much sleep do kids really need, and what’s the impact if they miss out on an hour or even half an hour?

Kids need different amounts of sleep, depending on how old they are, to support their mental and physical development. Sleep allows our bodies to absorb new information and solidify long-term memories. While we rest at night, our bodies work on muscle development, tissue growth, and organ repair and our brains eliminate disease causing-toxins.

Science shows that kids thrive on a regular bedtime routine. When children get the sleep they need, there are boatloads of benefits, including better memory, better behavior, better school performance, and a healthier immune system.

In contrast, the effects of a lack of sleep for an extended period of time include everything from hypertension and obesity to irritability and depression. In fact, missing out on an hour can have an impact on your child’s mood and behavior. Interestingly, when kids are overtired, instead of slowing down as adults do, the opposite occurs: they become increasingly hyper. Knowing what to look out for can help you identify an overtired child.

How much sleep do kids need at each age?

To make sure your kids get enough shuteye, we’ve broken down our sleep recommendations for you into 6 age groups. Keep in mind that the numbers refer to a 24-hour period, so if your baby or child is still taking naps, be sure to include that in your child’s total sleep hour calculation.

Something else to keep in mind: these are simply guidelines. Recent scientific studies seeking to determine how much sleep kids really need to have yielded contradictory results, including the revelation that there is no evidence for “optimal sleep duration” for kids.

That being said, if you loosely follow these recommendations while also paying attention to your kids, you’ll be able to figure out more or less how much sleep your children need.

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