AA panel of pediatric specialists led by the
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) released
their first sleep recommendations for children
between four months and 18 years today.
New Sleep Guidelines from the American Academy of
Sleep Medicine (including naps):
Infants (4-12 months): 12 to 16 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours
School-age children (6-12 years): 9 to 12
Teenagers (13-18 years): 8 to 10 hours.
sleep specialist and nursing professor Wendy Hall,
the only Canadian member of the panel, explains how
the guidelines were developed and why getting enough
sleep is critical to good health.
of sleep is a growing trend and AASM saw a need for
updated, evidence-based recommendations for adequate
Most parents and care providers donít really know
how much sleep children should be getting. In fact,
some studies suggest that less than one per cent of
children receive science-backed interventions when
they have sleep problems because so few people are
educated about sleep.
Pediatric specialists' panel examined how sleep
impacts different aspects of health, such as
cardiovascular, developmental, mental, and
metabolic, as well as longevity, immunology, and
new AASM guidelines focus specifically on children,
were developed by pediatric specialists, and are
based exclusively on pediatric studies.
does insufficient sleep affect childrenís health?
most of the evidence that we have is associative,
not cause and effect, itís pretty persuasive.
deprivation in infants is linked to problems with
emotional regulation during the day, and possibly
with obesity once they reach three years of age.
Toddlers who lack sleep have difficulty focusing and
retaining language. They might show more aggressive,
less prosocial behavior.
three to five-year-olds, lack of sleep is associated
with memory consolidation and language development
difficulties, and with a lesser quality of life.
Children aged five to 12 years who get less than
nine hours of sleep have significantly increased
odds of obesity.
13- to 18-year-olds are more likely to suffer
athletic injuries if they sleep less than eight
Other studies suggest sleep-deprived adolescents and
teenagers show higher levels of cellular
inflammation and insulin resistance.
do we safeguard childrenís sleep?
school-aged and younger kids, bedtime should be no
later than 9:00 p.m. Even older kids do better if
they go to bed before 9:30 p.m.
routines are critical for kids of all ages. Reading
a book, telling a story, singing a song, or getting
into a toothbrush routine help kids settle into
sleep better. Banning electronic devices from the
bedroom also helps.
Follow good sleep hygiene and keep childrenís
bedrooms dark, cool and quiet.
The University of British Columbia