Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Lewis Milrod, M.D.
Director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine
K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital

What your kids do during the night has a huge impact on their daily lives. Sleep plays a key role in mental, physical and emotional health, from infancy through teen years.

Now, experts at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have reviewed the research and arrived at a target slumber number for each age group. New guidelines published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine advise the following daily sleep totals:

  • 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours

  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours

  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours

  • 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours

  • 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours

Healthy Rest Offers Many Rewards

“The right amount of sleep helps kids learn well, behave and feel happy,” says Lewis Milrod, M.D., director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine and a neurologist at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “Adequate rest also wards off health problems like high blood pressure, extra weight and heart issues.”

It's normal for kids to resist  bedtime. Help ease them into a healthy sleep routine by remembering the following guidelines.

  • Modeling: Kids learn by watching you. Show them you value sleep and they’ll start to understand its importance.

  • Routines: “Keep sleep, waking, naps and play around the same time every day,” advises Dr. Milrod. “And develop soothing night time rituals, such as reading.”

  • Screen-Free Time: Ban phones, TVs and tablets from kids’ bedrooms.

"Make it a rule to shut them down at least 30 minutes before bedtime," Dr. Milrod says.