An all-too-familiar struggle for parents is that of bedtime. It can be so hard to get your kids to turn off the electronics, put the toys away, and settle down for a good night’s sleep. It can be tempting to let your kids stay up “just a few more minutes.” But, according to the National Sleep Foundation, missing just 30 to 60 minutes of recommended sleep can have adverse effects on kids.
Today, we’d like to share with you why it is so important that your kids get the right amount of sleep. We’ve also included a list of recommended hours of sleep by age group so you know how much sleep your kids should be getting each night.
Why Sleep is Important for Kids
When kids get enough sleep, their bodies get the chance to rest and recharge, which makes them more capable of fighting off sickness and increases their overall health and well-being. In fact, sleep provides several health benefits for kids such as promoting heart health. Kids who get enough sleep are at a lower risk of developing heart disease1. Additional health benefits of sleep include:
Lowering the risk of diabetes
Lowering the risk of obesity
Increasing the body’s ability to fight colds and viruses
Parents want their kids to be as healthy as they can be, now and down the road into their teen years. Teaching your kids the importance of sleep and developing a regular bedtime routine early on will help ensure that they grow and develop at a healthy pace.
Sleep not only benefits kids physically but mentally as well. A study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has linked sleep with stronger academic performance . The following are educational benefits for kids that stem from being well rested:
Increased attention span
More energy and willingness to participate in class
Stronger focus and concentration
In addition to stronger academic performance, kids who get enough sleep often experience stronger physical performance in extracurricular activities, like sports. The increased energy and focus that come from being well-rested can extend beyond the classroom to the soccer field or basketball court.
How Much Sleep Should Your Children Be Getting?
According to the National Sleep Foundation2, the recommended amount of sleep per night for children and young adults is as follows:
Newborns (0-3 months)
14 to 17 hours
Infants (4-11 months)
12 to 15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years)
11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
10 to 13 hours
School-aged children (6-13 years)
9 to 11 hours
Teenagers (14-17 years)
8 to 10 hours
Young Adults (18-25 years)
7 to 9 hours
If your child struggles to get the recommended amount of sleep at night, consider fitting naps into the schedule where possible. Mid-day naps on weekdays or weekends are a good way to give your child a physical and mental boost by getting back some of that lost sleep.
Do you have a great bedtime routine or a tried and tested method of getting your kids to settle in for the night? If so, please feel free to share it with us in the comments section.
1. Mahoney, S. (2016, August 31). The 7 Reasons Your Kid Needs Sleep. Retrieved October 04, 2017, from http://www.parents.com/health/healthy-happy-kids/why-your-kid-needs-sleep/↩
2. How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need? (n.d.). Retrieved October 04, 2017, from https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need↩
St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School (SCS) offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education to children in PreK-3 through 8th grade.