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How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

Recently, a dear friend of our family shared with me her concern that her 4-year-oldgrandson was not getting enough sleep. Because our friend knows that I treat people who have sleep apnea, she asked for my advice and I found a lot of information to forward to her, some of which I am sharing with you.

The National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines are:

For preschoolers: 10-13 hours a night

For school age kids: 9-11 hours

And, for teens: 8-10 hours

Dr. Shelly Weiss, the Director of the Pediatric Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto says, “If children are not sleeping well the consequences may be problems with behavior, attention, learning and memory.

A recent study at John Hopkins University concluded that, “children who slept the least had a 92% higher risk of being overweight or obese compared to children with longer sleep duration.”

AboutKidsHealth, a newsletter from Dr. Weiss’s Pediatric Program, listed the following questions to determine if your child or grandchild is getting enough sleep:

  • Does the child fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes of bedtime?
  • Does the child wake up easily in the morning, at the expected time?
  • Does the child appear well rested during the day?
  • Does the child stay awake without taking a nap during the day?
  • (This question only applies to children that have outgrown their daytime nap.)
  • Does the child say awake during quiet activities, such as driving in the car or watching television?

We all need a good night’s sleep no matter what age. I hope this information proves useful to you and your family.









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