The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has released new guidelines for how much sleep children should get. The guidelines released today encompass recommendations the American Academy of Pediatrics has made at different times for different ages. And they’re based on a review of scientific evidence on sleep duration and health.
- 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 American Academy of Sleep Medicine says adequate sleep is linked with improved attention, behavior, learning, mental and physical health at every stage of a child’s growth.
The National Sleep Foundation has found that over 85 percent of teens lack adequate sleep. Sleep matters: deprivation and tiredness affect schoolwork, attention, mood, interactions, unhealthy weight risk and lifelong health habits.
The AAP also recommends all screens be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime and suggests keeping televisions, computers, smartphones and other screens out of kids’ bedrooms. Light stimulates wakefulness.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is also telling parents not to lose too much sleep over these new recommendations.
We should take into consideration that each of our families is different, different schedules. Each family needs to find what works best for their dynamic and overall function — there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to sleep. Even ‘a decent hour’ is defined differently in different families, cultures, and situations. The overarching message is that we all need to better prioritize sleep health for our children, and that starts with prioritizing it for the entire family.
Here are 10 tips to help PARENTS get more sleep from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
- Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Go to bed when you feel sleepy, even if it’s before your bedtime.
- If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
- Establish relaxing bedtime rituals.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to light in the evenings.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
resources: sleepeducation.org, www.aasmnet.org