Kids who don’t get enough sleep are at risk for a whole range of mental and physical woes, including some potentially serious health issues. New sleep guidelines for babies, school-age children and teens outline just how many hours of sleep kids need at every age in order to help them be at their best.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is lending its backing to the recommendations developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Here’s the lowdown on how much sleep kids need at different ages, according to a consensus group of 13 sleep medicine experts and researchers who developed the recommendations:
Infants 4 to 12 months – 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
l Children 1 to 2 years – 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
l Children 3 to 5 years – 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
l Children 6 to 12 years – 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
l Teens 13 to 18 years – 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
Attending pulmonologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Lee Brooks said that not getting enough sleep is linked with more injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and depression, among other health problems, said Brooks. Sleep-deprived teens are especially at risk for self-harm or suicidal thoughts, research shows. The AAP recommends all screens be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime and suggests keeping televisions, computers, smartphones and other screens out of kids’ bedrooms.