Thursday, September 2, 2010

Children and sleep

I think it is fairly obvious that everyone needs enough sleep.  I feel most productive, energetic, creative, and just generally well when I am well rested.  This holds true for children too.  Everyone's sleep requirements are individual but in general:
1-3 year olds need 12-14 hours (total, this includes naps)
4-6 year olds need 10-12 hours
7-12 year olds need 10-11 hours
12+ need 8-9 hours

Good sleep habits are important during the school year for the mental, physical, and behavioral benefits.  Children can react to fatigue by becoming overly emotional and sensitive, loud, and just generally wild.  This is Hannah.  When Hannah is tired she cries at the drop of a hat while running around in circles.  When she is that tired she has an extremely hard time settling down.

In order to facilitate good sleep habits my kids have a pretty rigid bedtime.  Ben has the luxury ability to nap during the day but Hannah's kindergarten is full-day without a rest time.  Both kids go to their rooms at 7:00 and Ben goes to sleep almost immediately.  He sleeps until 6:00 and naps for a 1-2 hours each afternoon.  Hannah plays quietly in her room reading, coloring, or rocking her baby dolls until 8:00 when she has to go to bed.  She sleeps until 6:00 or 7:00.

This bedtime/wake time allows the children to get enough sleep each night.  Benjamin averages 12-13 hours daily and Hannah averages 10-11 hours.  These are smack in the middle of the recommended sleep amounts.

How much sleep do your kids get each night?


Cait said...

Ian generally naps about 2 hours a day, and sleeps from 8:30-6, so about 11.5 hours a day. No matter what I try, I cannot get the child to sleep past 6:30 am. Later bedtimes, cutting the nap, nothing. The one and only time he has slept until 8am *in his entire life* was at 2.5 when he was sick - and that was one morning out of almost four years of life. LOL

Megan naps about 2 hours a day, and sleeps from 8:15-7 or so, so say 13.

Andrea said...

Summer time: Girls sleep 12 hours, Ryan 13 hours, Nicholas 16 hours (12 at night and 2 or 3 naps during the day)

School time: Ryan and the girls both sleep about 9.5. I don't expect the baby to change much once school starts.

Me: If I get 6 hours a night it is a good night.