How Much Sleep Does Your Child Really Need?

African American boy tired sleepingParents take note. Experts have dropped new recommendations on exactly how much sleep your child needs.

The recommendations, the first from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), outline the “amount of sleep needed to promote optimal health” in children (infants to 12-year-olds) and teenagers (13 to 18).

“Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it is important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood,” said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, Pediatric Consensus Panel moderator and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a statement published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

“It is especially important as children reach adolescence to continue to ensure that teens are able to get sufficient sleep.”

While that may be true, according to Dr. Nathanial Watson, president of the AASM, “More than a third of the U.S. population is not getting enough sleep, and for children who are in the critical years of early development, sleep is even more crucial.”

“Making sure there is ample time for sleep is one of the best ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for a child,” Dr. Watson added.