Lately, medical professionals have been contradicting themselves when it came to the proper amount of sleep that children must get. But how much sleep should a child get? When is it too much, or too little? Fortunately, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics collaborated in order to give mothers everywhere the right answer.
A team of thirteen sleep experts, pediatricians, and researchers worked at the latest recommendations. So how much sleep should a child get?
- Infants with ages between 4 to 12 months should get between 12 to 16 hours of sleep every day (a day is used as a precise 24-hour interval). This 12-16 interval includes naps.
- Small children with ages between 1 and 2 years should get 11 to 14 hours of sleep every day. Naps are included in the interval.
- Children with ages between 3 and 5 years old should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep daily. This interval, too, includes naps.
- Children with ages between 6 and 12 should sleep 9 to 12 hours every day.
- Teenagers with ages between 13 and 18 should get between 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day.
There is no regular sleep interval for newborns included because their sleep times are erratic. Aside from the fact that they are prone to cry for a longer period of time, newborns between 0 and 4 months-old sleep don’t present a sleeping pattern. The team of researchers mentioned that additional research is needed for that particular segment.
Dr. Lee Brooks, the author of the paper and attending pulmonologist at Philadelphia’s Hospital for Children, declared that if the aforementioned guidelines are respected, children will show signs of improved memory, attention span, emotional regulation, behavior, learning capabilities, and quality of life.
Brooks also mentioned that not getting enough Zs can cause infants to develop obesity, injuries, diabetes, depression, and hypertension.
On that note, previous papers have shown that teenagers who are sleep deprived are more inclined to develop suicidal thoughts than those who get a proper amount of snooze every day.
When asked about the sleep situation of US teenagers, pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson declared that:
“The majority don’t get the sleep they need. The National Sleep Foundation has found that over 85 percent of teens lack adequate sleep. Sleep matters: deprivation and tiredness affect schoolwork, attention, mood, interactions, unhealthy weight risk, and lifelong health habits.”
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