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Health & Parenting

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How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

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    Most children from about 21 to 36 months of age still need one nap a day, which may range from one to three and a half hours long. They typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 and 8 a.m.

    3-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours per day

    Children at this age typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up around 6 and 8 a.m., just as they did when they were younger. At 3, most children are still napping, while at 5, most are not. Naps gradually become shorter as well. New sleep problems do not usually develop after 3 years of age.

    7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours per day

    At these ages, with social, school, and family activities, bedtimes gradually become later and later, with most 12-years-olds going to bed at about 9 p.m. There is still a wide range of bedtimes, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., as well as total sleep times, from 9 to 12 hours, although the average is only about 9 hours.

    12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours per day

    Sleep needs remain just as vital to health and well-being for teenagers as when they were younger. It turns out that many teenagers actually may need more sleep than in previous years. Now, however, for many teenagerssocial pressures conspire against getting the proper amount and quality of sleep.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on February 28, 2014
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