How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? New Guidelines Estimate Number Of Hours Children Should Be Sleeping

Do you know many hours' sleep your kids should be getting?

A group of sleep specialists have issued a set of guidelines recording how much sleep kids should be getting each night.

Doctors who specialise in sleep disorders at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published their most recent advice in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The recommendations were based on a review of scientific evidence on sleep duration and health.

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Researchers said recommendations for babies under four months were not included as there's not enough research to back up guidance.

Infants 4 to 12 months - 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).

Children 1 to 2 years - 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).

Children 3 to 5 years - 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).

Children 6 to 12 years - 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Teens 13 to 18 years - 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

The NHS advice is however, more specific, recommending babies at one week old should be sleeping 16 hours - eight hours in the night and eight hours during naps.

When a baby is three months, the NHS advises four to five hours of naps and 10 to 11 hours during the night.

Commenting on the new guidelines for sleep, Maryanne Taylor, sleep consultant at The Sleep Works, said the range of hours given is "far too broad".

"I don’t believe that telling a parent that 12-16 hours including naps for babies of four to 12 months is helpful," she told The Huffington Post UK.

"There is a huge difference between 12 hours and 16 hours so while an eight-month-old baby sleeping 12 hours over a 24-hour period fits within the new guidelines, they may actually need closer to 15 or 16 hours, so are not getting enough sleep."

Taylor said she also believes that the guidelines should differentiate between daytime sleep and nighttime sleep.

"The child might sleep for too many hours during the day which will affect the number of hours they sleep at night causing confusion in their natural body clock rhythms," she added.

"I think the minimum number of hours stated in each bracket is too low - I believe that a child of one to two years needs more than 11 hours of sleep including naps. I think that number is more relevant to nighttime sleep only."

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