New Sleep Recommendations for Young Children

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued recommendations for the amount of sleep needed for children to maintain optimal health.

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Infants under a year should sleep 12-16 hours daily, toddlers 1-2 years old need between 11-14 hours a night, and children 3-5 require 10-13 hours of sleep. All times factor in napping, which is necessary for young children.

These recommended times help promote healthy patterns in children, like improved behavior, attention, learning, and overall mental and physical health. Lack of adequate sleep can be linked to attention and behavioral problems, an increase in injuries, and obesity.

To promote healthy sleep, consistency and regularity are key, as well as the bedroom environment, such as light, sound and temperature. Parents who have concerns about their child’s sleep patterns should consult their pediatrician.