March 2018 Newsletter – Sleep and the Young Child

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The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Sleep Medicine endorsed sleep guidelines in 2016 that include the following recommendations:

  • Infants 4-12 months old should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours;
  • Children 1-2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours;
  • Children 3-5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours.

Adequate sleep correlates with improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation and quality of life. Inadequate sleep correlated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity and depression.

To help your child sleep better at night, limit screen time during the day and especially within the 30 minutes prior to bedtime, do not allow television, video games or other screens in children’s bedrooms and establish a regular bedtime routine that reduces sensory stimulation and eases your child into sleep. Limiting sleep at naptime does not enable children to sleep better at night and only compounds the negative effects of poor night-time sleep.

For additional guidance, see www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-How-Many-Hours-Does-Your-Child-Need.aspx and www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/encouraging-healthy-sleep-habits.

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