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Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children (cont.)

Normal Sleep Requirements for Children by Age

Although there is significant individual variation, there are well established recommendations addressing the total needed hours of sleep for children of different ages. These totals include both contiguous sleep and naps.

  • Newborns (<1 month) typically sleep 15-18 hours, though as most parents realize never contiguously. Some infants will manage to sleep 5 hours without interruption during the evening, but most only sleep a couple of hours before waking and feeding.
  • Infants (1 month-12 months) sleep 14-15 hours and most develop an appropriate "day-night" cycle by 2 months. And they begin to sleep for longer periods as they develop further.
  • Toddlers (1–3 years) require 12–14 hours, and although they continue to benefit from daytime naps as they age, they require fewer and shorter sleeping periods during the day.
  • Preschoolers (3–5 years) sleep 11–12 hours, and the younger in the age range still benefit from a daytime nap.
  • School-aged children (6–12 years) require 10–11 hours of sleep, though often preteens will sleep fewer hours.
  • Adolescents (12-18 years) require 8-9 hours of sleep, though given their school and extracurricular demands, in addition to social demands, they often get only 6-8 hours.
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