How Much Sleep Should Kids Get?

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The amount of sleep that a child needs is going to be based on that child's age. Actually, we have a great article on WebMD, where you can actually click on the different ages to find out what your child sleep need is going to be.

But generally speaking, what we're finding in National Sleep Foundation's polls is that kids aren't getting enough sleep. And they're also not getting sleep at the times that they need.

It may be an enjoyable thing too, because you're coming home late to be able to spend some time with your child and have them stay up past their bedtime. But it really can be a detriment to their health in the long run.

In their first year of life, those children are going to be sleeping north of 18 hours in some cases, maybe as little as 12 or 13 hours. But that oftentimes occurs if you have a very colicky baby or a reflux baby, trying to know and understand what different health issues could be going on there.

Look, guys.

When you get into the two to three range, that's when your children should be sleeping about 11 to 12 hours. Then, when you start to move into grade school, you're going to be looking at nine to 10 hours. Your kids should stick to the nine to 10 hour range almost through high school.

Very few high schoolers get that much sleep. And so interestingly, what we found is, first of all, high school-age children tend to swing and want to stay up late and sleep late. So anybody out there who has a high school age kid knows that kids want to stay up till 2:00 AM. And then, they want to sleep till noon.

That's a natural occurrence for them. Believe it or not, in Minnesota they actually changed school start times. And they found that kids increased their grades by almost a full letter grade by actually going to school later and staying later.

Krista, wake up. You're going to be late for school.

So when you're talking with your children about sleep, one of the things that you want to say is, hey, this is very important for you. First of all, it helps you learn. Second of all, it helps your overall mood. And finally, it really helps your health.

And so I try to make the importance of sleep greater for children, so that way they can get an understanding of it. It's not that mom or dad want you to go to bed at a certain time because they're mean. It's because they're actually doing something better for your health.