How much sleep do kids need?

Sleep is very important to a child's wellbeing. There's no set amount of sleep that all children of a particular age need, but here's a guide to the approximate hours of sleep they should aim for.

These are hours of sleep based on age, as recommended by the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic:

1 week

  • daytime: 8 hours 
  • night time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

4 weeks

  • daytime: 6 to 7 hours
  • night time: 8 to 9 hours

3 months 

  • daytime: 4 to 5 hours 
  • night time: 10 to 11 hours

6 months

  • daytime: 3 hours 
  • night time: 11 hours

9 months 

  • daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours 

12 months 

  • daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours

2 years 

  • daytime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

3 years 

  • daytime: 0 to 45 minutes 
  • night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes to 12 hours

4 years 

  • night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes 

5 years 

  • night time: 11 hours

6 years 

  • night time: 10 hours, 45 minutes

7 years

  • night time: 10 hours, 30 minutes

8 years

  • night time: 10 hours, 15 minutes

9 years 

  • night time: 10 hours

10 years 

  • night time: 9 hours, 45 minutes

11 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 30 minutes

12 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

13 years  

  • night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

14 years

  • night time: 9 hours

15 years

  • night time: 9 hours

16 years

  • night time: 9 hours

How lack of sleep can affect children

Evidence shows that night time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy food during the day to give them energy to stay awake.

The key to how much is enough sleep is whether a child gets up fairly easily in the morning, is alert and happy for most of the day, and is not grumpy.

Younger children who are persistently sleep-deprived seem irritable and overactive, seek constant stimulation and don’t concentrate well. Such symptoms can be mistaken for mild ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Page last reviewed: 30/03/2015

Next review due: 30/03/2017


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Cerise said on 05 August 2014

These hours seem too specific. Different children do have different sleep needs, but a range per age seems more appropriate as mentioned in this article. <a href="">How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? Toddler Sleep Recommendations</a>

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