Alaska Sleep Education Center

Healthy Sleep in Children: Excerpt from AK Parent Magazine

Posted by ASC Pediatric Medical Director, Dr. Harry Yuan on Mar 13, 2019 9:39:24 AM


Alaska Sleep Clinic's Pediatric Medical Director, Dr. Harry Yuan, contributed the article "Healthy Sleep in Children" to the Spring edition of AK Parent Magazine.  Click the link below to read Dr. Yuan's article on page 14 of the virtual edition.


While sleep disorders can come with varying degrees of severity, the majority of them can be treated. What's important is that parents recognize the signs of sleep disorders so that they can get their child treated for the underlying causes, rather than treating the symptoms alone.

One of the most important keys in understanding how to identify sleep troubles in children is to have a good idea on how much sleep they should be getting for their age.

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

  • baby_taylor-1801-4 weeks old- Newborns sleep approximately 16-17 hours a day with periods of wakefulness lasting 1-3 hours. However, most newborns have not developed a night/day sleep cycle, so their periods of sleep and wakefulness can vary to all hours of the day. Most parents will have to adjust their own sleep schedules to accommodate newborns.

  • 1-4 months old- Babies of this age still tend to sleep about the same amount of hours, but their night/day sleep cycles begin to kick in, with them sleeping longer at night, although they still wake for feedings and changes.

  • 4 months-1 year- Babies of this age still require between 14-15 hours of sleep everday. However, many of them are able to sleep through most of the night, and take up to 3 naps during the day and evening. During this period it is important to really begin to establish healthy sleep habits for your child.

  • 1-3 years- Most toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep, but often get less due to the schedules of parents and older children in the house. They will more than likely lose their early morning nap and early evening nap and tend to only take one nap a day.

  • 3-6 years- Approximately 11-12 hours of sleep. Younger children of this group may still require a short nap during the day, but the need to nap usually diminishes by the time they enter the first grade.

  • 7-12 years- Children of these age groups tend to need about 10-12 hours of nightly sleep but often only get about 9-10 hours.

  • 13-18 years- Teens of this age require about 8-10 hours of sleep, but rarely get the full amount they need. The demands of schoolwork, after school programs and activities often cut into their nightly sleep. Most teens reports getting about 6-8 hours of sleep.

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Topics: Pediatrics

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