How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need?

When children don’t get enough sleep, they are easily frustrated and may not do well in school. They are also more easily stressed.

The amount of sleep your child needs varies by age:

  • Newborns need 16 to 17 hours a day.

  • By age 6 months, babies may nap 3 to 4 hours a day and sleep 11 hours at night.

  • Children ages 2 to 11 usually need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Children age 5 and younger also may need a nap.

  • Children ages 11 to 13 need about 10 hours of sleep.

  • Teenagers need a little less—8 to 9 hours a night.

Here are some ways to help your children get the sleep they need:

  • Make bedtime quiet time. Relaxing before bedtime helps sleep come more easily. Have your child read or take a warm bath.

  • Turn off the TV and videos at least one hour before bedtime.

  • Do not allow children to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine, such as soda and chocolate. They can interfere with sleep.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jovino, Louise DO

Date Last Reviewed: 4/2/2010

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