It’s no secret that adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and that’s a problem since more research is confirming that poor sleep can have lasting effects on health, including things like obesity and heart disease.
And the same is true for children. While kids with bed times have an easier time of getting enough sleep than adults, the intrusion of smartphones and tablets and social media, not to mention growing pressures at school, are also keeping kids up at night.
To help parents know how much sleep is enough, a group of 13 sleep experts convened by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have issued sleep recommendations that have been endorsed by a number of health groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. Based on what they found in 864 studies that tracked children’s sleep and their health outcomes, they found that children sleeping the recommended amounts below on a regular basis enjoyed fewer attention, behavior and learning problems as well as lower rates of obesity, hypertension and depression. But there was a limit to the benefit; too much sleep was associated with higher rates of diabetes, obesity and mental health issues.
Here’s how much sleep they recommend for children at different ages:
Babies, 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours
Children, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours
Children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
Children, 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours
Teens: 8 to 10 hours