Kids, These Are Your New Sleep Guidelines

From up to 16 hours for infants to at least 8 hours for teens
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2016 8:13 AM CDT
Kids, These Are Your New Sleep Guidelines
Little ones need big rests.   (Shutterstock)

Parental warning: Don't lose sleep over new guidelines on how much shut-eye your kids should be getting. The recommendations released Monday range from up to 16 hours daily for babies to at least eight hours for teens, the AP reports. They come from a panel of experts and give parents fresh ammunition for when kids blame them for strict bedtimes. The guidelines, the first-ever for children from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, encompass recommendations the American Academy of Pediatrics has made at different times for different ages. According to the guidelines: Adequate sleep is linked with improved attention, behavior, learning, and mental and physical health at every age covered.

Meanwhile, insufficient sleep increases risks for obesity, diabetes, accidents, depression, and in teens, self-harm, including suicide attempts. The recommendations are based on a review of scientific evidence on sleep duration and health. Recommended daily/nightly sleep duration is as follows:

  • 12 hours to 16 hours, including naps, for infants aged 4 months to 12 months (younger infants aren't included because they have a wide range of normal sleep patterns)
  • 11 to 14 hours, including naps, for children aged 1 to 2 years
  • 10 to 13 hours, including naps, for children aged 3 to 5 years
  • 9 to 12 hours for children aged 6 to 12 years
  • 8 to 10 hours for teens aged 13 to 18 years
(Here's America's most sleep-deprived group.)

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