How many hours a day should children sleep with respect to their age? Here is the answer for all parents.

How many hours a day should children sleep with respect to their age? Here is the answer for all parents.

Our body develops over the years, so it is natural that in adulthood we need less time to regenerate through sleep than children. For them, sleep is important as it is a necessary component of both the  growth and development processes. But what quantity of sleep time is the most optimal for children? Having taken a closer look, we now have answers for you that can help every parent. 

Parenthood brings along with it difficult questions. One of the most discussed questions is how long children should be allowed to sleep so that the sleep is as beneficial for them as possible. 

For the youngest children, research is challenging

Even for scientists it is not easy to find out the answer. The problem is that it is much harder to perform the needed research on children than it is on adults. We cannot rob a young child of sleep at the expense of research, and also children as respondents are not able to accurately elaborate how their length of sleep affects them. 

However, in this case researchers rely on examining the relationships between sleep duration, quality of slee, and health consequences in the short term, and monitoring emotion management or the ability to concentrate in the long term. 

The quality of sleep is most important

You must have already noticed that sometimes, paradoxically, you feel more rested after a sleep that lasted shorter but was really good, so you slept continuously and nothing disturbed you during sleep. 

The same is with children. Researchers agree that poor sleep accompanied by a lack of rest affects both children's behavior and self-control, as well as their mental performance.

Research in this area is also interesting. For example, Some research has confirmed that in the case of infants, intermittent sleep with multiple awakenings during the night reflects weaker self-control and also relates to difficulty in concentration when they reach 3-4 years. 

Separate research has examined the impact of sleep deprivation on adolescents. Here the findings were even more interesting and even more alarming. A group of scientists has found that sleep deprivation in adolescents is associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. 

So what is the recommended sleep length?

The most recent recommendations of the National Sleep Foundation, which were also presented by our Public Health Office, can generally be interpreted as meaning that the older we get, the shorter the length of sleep required. While a newborn needs up to 17 hours of sleep a day to develop properly, a senior may only require 5 hours. 

For how long should we sleep according to the scientists from the National Sleep Foundation?

  • Newborn (0 – 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day
  • Infant (4 – 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day
  • Toddler (1 – 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day
  • Preschooler (3 – 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day
  • Pupil (6 – 13 years): 9 to 11 hours of sleep per day
  • Teenager (14 – 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day
  • Adolescent (18 – 25 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day
  • Adult (26 – 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day
  • Older adult (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day 

How can we contribute to the quality sleep of children?

You have several options to support your child's night sleep. In the case of older children, the biggest help is to make sure that the child has enough exercise in fresh air and does not spend too much time in front of screens. 

But for younger children, you have a few more options. In addition to creating a pleasant atmosphere in the child's room, encouraging an evening bath or creating a regular evening ritual, you can also help by reading good night stories that children simply love. 

If you want to take this pleasant activity one level further, you may make use of our Readmio application, which will literally take you into the world of fairy tales. The reading of them is accompanied by special sound effects, thanks to which your little one will absolutely fall in love with reading good night stories. 

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