You must have heard that 8 hours of sleep is essential for good health. But this is not really a standard rule. In fact, the requirement of sleep is different at different ages. For a good part of the life, 8 hours rule is applicable, but in the early years the requirement for sleep is much different.

0-3 months: During the first 3 months of its life, a baby needs to spend 14-17 hours sleeping everyday. Often, these sleeping hours fall during the day and the sleep-deprived parents feel that their baby never sleeps.

4-12 months: After the first 3 months, a baby becomes more aware of her surroundings and is more socially responsive. The sleep patterns also change. Now the baby needs around 15 hours sleep everyday. By the time she turns 1 year old, your baby takes fewer naps and has one solid block of sleep every night.

1-3 years: Children in this age group still need a lot of down time. A child that does not get proper sleep will have problems like Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity. 12-15 hours of sleep is still recommended, but sleeping less than 10 hours can cause problems.

3-5 years: Your toddler is now busy exploring her world and will invariably resist sleeping. But she still needs 10-12 hours of sleep daily. Not getting this rest can lead to behavioural problems.

5-13 years: 9-11 hours of sleep is recommended for this age group. Proper sleeping habits help in growth, learning and development of your child through the early school years.

13-17 years: Your teenagers still need 10 hours of sleep but it is hard to get them get their proper down time. The screens our teenagers are addicted to affect their sleeping hours and this is when it gets the hardest for parents to implement sleep hours!

Once your kids turn into adults, they can do by the good old 8 hours a day rule, but till then – it is your job to make sure they enjoy adequate and restful sleep.

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Lavanya Mehra


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