Kids & Teens Medical Group

Pediatrics located in Pasadena, West Hills, Agoura Hills, San Fernando, Northridge,
Arcadia, La Canada Flintridge, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Whittier, Torrance , Valencia, & Culver City, CA

How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

Dec 01, 2021
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How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

Whether you feel overwhelmed by obvious sleep problems in your child or you’re just curious to know how much sleep they really need, the team at Kids & Teens Medical Group can help.

Call one of our offices if you have questions or need help with your child’s sleep habits. We are located in Pasadena, West Hills, Agoura Hills, San Fernando, Northridge, Arcadia, La Canada Flintridge, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Whittier, Encino & Santa Clarita, California. In the meantime, here’s the information you need to know about how much sleep your child needs and the problems they may face when they don’t get a good night’s rest.

Sleep recommendations for children

All children need a specific amount of sleep to gain all the health benefits that occur while they snooze, such as memory consolidation and flushing toxic waste from the brain. Since every child has different sleep patterns and needs, the sleep guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics give you a range of hours required at different ages.

Here’s the amount of sleep they recommend each day:

  • Infants from 4-12 months need 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Children aged 1-2 years need 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Children aged 3-5 years need 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Children aged 6-12 years need 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers aged 13-18 years need 8-10 hours

Children need to get the right amount of sleep on a regular basis to ensure they stay healthy. When their sleep is disrupted during the night, they may have a hard time falling asleep. If they can’t get back to sleep after waking too early, their natural sleep cycle is disrupted.

Breaking the sleep cycle or getting too little sleep increases your child’s risk for a wide range of problems.

Health risks associated with insufficient sleep

As a parent, you already know what happens when your child doesn’t get enough sleep. They essentially sleepwalk through the day, can’t concentrate, and their drowsiness often results in behavior problems like defiance, aggression, temper tantrums, and hyperactivity.

Beyond daily fatigue and behavioral challenges, lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can have a widespread impact on your child’s health and development. They may struggle with:

  • Mood swings
  • Poor cognitive performance
  • Lack of resilience
  • Difficulty learning vocabulary
  • Memory issues
  • Slow growth
  • Poor executive function skills
  • Slow motor skill development

Sleep deficiencies also increase the risk of childhood depression, weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Sleep problems in children

Parents are sometimes surprised to learn that children can develop sleep disorders common in adults, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. 

Children also frequently experience night terrors, sleepwalking, and other unusual behaviors while sleeping, a group of conditions collectively called parasomnias. 

If your child suffers a traumatic brain injury, they have a high chance of developing insomnia. Epilepsy is another condition that’s associated with sleep problems. While your child sleeps, their brain goes through electrical changes that can trigger a seizure.

Children diagnosed with developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism frequently struggle with sleep problems. Studies suggest that nearly 80% of preschoolers with autism have disrupted sleep and all types of sleep problems are twice as common in children with autism.

If you need help improving your child’s sleep habits, call our nearest location or book an appointment online today.

Kids & Teens Medical Group