Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for our mental and physical health. Sleep helps our brains pay attention, learn new things and remember things. Not getting enough sleep can increase negative emotions and decrease positive ones.

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

Recommended Sleep Totals (National Sleep Foundation)

Age Range

Recommended Sleep (in a 24-hour period)

Newborns (0-3 months)

14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months)

12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years)

11-14 hours

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

10-13 hours

School-Aged Children (6-13 years)

9-11 hours

Adolescents (14-18 years)

8-10 hours


Sleep Problems

Sleep difficulties are common for school-age children and adolescents due to school demands, extracurricular activities that may result in a later bedtime, increased use of electronics (i.e., tablet, phone, computer, TV), and school schedules.

Common signs of your child experiencing potential sleep problems include:

Sleep problems are associated with a number of other physical and mental health concerns, including:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Hyperactivity and impulsivity
  • Inattention
  • Increase in tantrums or other disruptive behaviors
  • Decline in grades or academic functioning
  • Increased risk for anxiety or depression
  • Difficulty managing stress

Helping Kids Sleep

Having a regular sleep schedule and nightly routine will help kids get good sleep, which will improve their mental health and physical health. Your child should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.

Your bedtime routine doesn’t have to be the same for each child, but it should signal to each child that it’s time to calm down and get ready to go to sleep.

You can help the children in your life get better sleep by following some simple sleep habits.

Got a child who is having bedtime battles? We have more specific advice for the most common bedtime issues.

When Should We See a Doctor?

If your child has difficulty falling or staying asleep for more than 2 weeks, contact your child’s doctor. Other reasons to contact a pediatrician could include:

  • Your child snoring, having pauses in breathing or gasping when they sleep at night
  • Your child experiencing unusual wake ups in the middle of the night
  • Your child has difficulty maintaining good sleep health habits due to behaviors or other barriers
  • Your child communicating poor sleep satisfaction, quality, tiredness, or fatigue
  • Your child sleeping during the day and napping after the age of 5
  • Your child sleeps shorter or longer than the recommended number of hours for their age