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AAP Has New Recommendations for How Much Sleep Your Child Needs

Photograph by Twenty20

Kids and sleep, we're all obsessed with both. The AAP has just endorsed recommendations from a new American Academy of Sleep Medicine study on how many hours of slumber your child should be getting, and it's sure to send parents scrambling to add up the hours.

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Here's how it breaks down by age group (all ranges are for a 24-hour period):

Infants (4-12 months) should sleep 12 hours to 16 hours, including naps.

Toddlers (1-2 years) should sleep 11 to 14 hours, including naps.

Kids (3-5 years) should sleep 10 to 13 hours, including naps.

Kids (6-12 years) should sleep 9 to 12 hours.

Teens (13-18 years) should sleep 8 to 10 hours.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that children whose sleep fell within the optimal range for their age had improved attention, behavior, memory, learning , emotional regularity, and physical and mental health.

Basically, getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important.

AAP spokesperson Dr. Corinn Cross shares with CBS that they hope the new recommendations will encourage parents to make sleep a priority for their kids, versus over-scheduling their activities.

“Sometimes you do have to think about what it is your child really enjoys doing. Maybe we don’t need to do every sport," says Dr. Cross. “Sleep can lead to hypertension, which is high blood pressure. We know it can lead to obesity. In teens, it can lead to depression—and adults, as well.”

But, as we all know, getting kids to sleep by a certain time is no easy feat, and some nights, it feels downright impossible. Here are some of the AAP's recommendations for helping your child get a good night's rest:

  • Have a consistent bedtime routine
  • Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minute before bedtime
  • Don't keep electronics like TVs, handheld gaming devices, computers and cell phones in their bedrooms.

And most of all, may the sleep gods be with you.

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