Sleep is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle and regardless of whether you are 5, 15 or 50, it is essential to get the required amount of sleep to maintain overall well-being.
With kids, sometimes, it can be difficult to get them to bed on time, especially on school nights and it might help to have a set pattern for you and your kid(s).
How Much Sleep Is Considered Adequate for Children?
Just like us, one child’s sleep requirements might vary slightly from another, but in general, experts consider the following as adequate for children of different age groups:
- 0 to 3 months
- Recommended: 14–17 hours
- Acceptable: 11–19 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 11 or more than 19 hours
- 4 to 11 months
- Recommended: 12–15 hours
- Acceptable: 10–18 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 10 or more than 18 hours
- 1 to 2 years
- Recommended: 11–14 hours
- Acceptable: 9–16 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 9 or more than 16 hours
- 3 to 5 years
- Recommended: 10–13 hours
- Acceptable: 8–14 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 8 or more than 14 hours
- 6 to 13 years
- Recommended: 9–11 hours
- Acceptable: 7–12 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 7 or more than 12 hours
- 14 to 17 years
- Recommended: 8–10 hours
- Acceptable: 7–11 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 7 or more than 11 hours
- 18 to 25 years
- Recommended: 7–9 hours
- Acceptable: 6–11 hours
- Inadequate/Not recommended: Less than 6 or more than 11 hours
While your child may or may not adhere to these sleep patterns, you can use them as a guideline to assess if your child is getting enough sleep for their age. And if your child has a tough time getting into bed and falling asleep, try to incorporate some of these tips to create a sleep routine for the entire household to follow.
Tips to get your children to sleep on time, every day
On average, school-going children need at least 9 to 11 hours of sleep to function efficiently, so, make sure your children are getting enough sleep based on their specific needs.
- Set a strict bedtime: One good thing about school-going kids is that their daily routines are uniform when compared to adults who may have early morning meetings or late night events to attend. This will help you make a routine that does not need much tweaking throughout a school year.
- Limit screen time: Most children today have a smartphone or tablet of their own or have a scheduled TV-viewing time for the day. Make sure all their screen time stops at least two hours before bedtime. Too much exposure to the light from these devices can hamper the production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.
- Try to reduce stress: Make sure your child indulges in calm activities before bedtime because when the activities are fast-paced, it can increase the level of cortisol, the stress hormone that can delay the onset of sleep.
- Design a bedtime routine: A pre-sleep time routine, depending on your child’s interests, will help your child understand that once the routine begins, bedtime cannot be too far away. This could be as simple as a bath followed by a story. Following this routine consistently can help children make it a habit as they grow.
- Make the room comfortable: Setting the right ambiance for sleep is a key factor in helping a child or even an adult fall asleep quickly. So, make the bed comfortable, have their favorite soft toy on hand, dim the lights, keep the surroundings quiet and the ambient temperature relatively cool to induce good sleep.
- Address fears: Many children have nighttime fears, for instance, of monsters in the closet or under the bed. Make sure you address these fears instead of simply ignoring them as being silly. Experts advise helping children overcome the fear by making them understand that monsters don’t really exist and if that does not work, have their favorite toy stand watch as they sleep.
- A consistent wake-up time is essential: Just like a set bedtime, it is essential to have a consistent wake-up time too. That way your child’s body will get accustomed to the routine, over time, and they will soon be waking up without any effort. Don’t change the time too much on the weekends because it can disrupt their sleep pattern; try to keep it within an hour of the regular routine for the least impact.
If you observe sleep disruptions, lack of sleep and a difficulty falling asleep even after having a routine, your child may have a sleep disorder and may need professional help.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need
10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep. (2017, October 25). Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/tips-get-your-kids-sleep#set-a-bedtime