Are your kids getting enough sleep?

Emily Rivas | Todaysparent.com

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How much sleep is enough for your kids? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine's new guidelines might surprise you.

Getting kids to sleep can be a struggle and it’s totally normal to worry about your kids getting adequate sleep. But how much is enough?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has released their first-ever guidelines for kids’ sleep which outline how much shut-eye your child should be getting. (The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has its own set of sleep guidelines—which can be found on Caring for KidsThe CPS says they also have plans to update their guidelines, but no details are available yet). Put together by a panel of sleep experts, the Academy of Sleep Medicine’s guidelines also encompass recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The panel’s research found that not catching the recommended zzzs is associated with attention, behavior and learning problems, and increases the risk of accidents, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and depression. For teens, lack of sleep can increase the risk of self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Here are their recommended guidelines for daily/nightly sleep:

  • 12 to 16 hours (including naps) for infants four to 12 months old. Younger infants are excluded due to the wide range in what’s considered “normal” for them.

  • 11 to 14 hours (including naps) for toddlers one to two years old.

  • 10 to 13 hours for kids three to five years old

  • 9 to 12 hours for kids aged six to 12

  • 8 to 10 hours for teens 13 to 18 years old