American Academy of Sleep Medicine Guidelines for Sleep in Children

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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently published recommendations regarding the number of hours children and teenagers should sleep each day.

After a review of the medical literature, the AASM consensus committee concluded that sleeping the number of recommended hours on a regular basis is associated with overall better health outcomes including: improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. 

When children and teenagers sleep less than the recommended hours attention, behavior and learning problems occur. Insufficient sleep increases the risk of accidents, injuries, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and depression. The committee also found that teenagers who do not get enough sleep have increased risk of self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

The AASM guidelines are:

Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Children

1-2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

3-5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

6- 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Teenagers

13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health

Healthy sleep requires not only an adequate number of hours of sleep but also appropriate timing, a regular sleep schedule, good sleep quality and the absence of sleep disorders. Parents who are concerned that their child is sleeping too little or too much should consult a doctor.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamilton-Stubbs to discuss concerns about your child’s sleep call 804-273-9900

Reference:  J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(6):785–786