How much should your child be sleeping?

Sleeping is a pivotal part of child development and health. Children not getting enough sleep has been scientifically linked to a plethora of health issues including obesity and cognitive functioning. Although bedtime may seem negotiable, especially when a cute dimpled face is asking for one more story, it is important to remember the larger picture. Take a look at the effects of lack of sleep, along with the suggested bedtimes and amount of sleep your children should be receiving.

Preventing Obesity

The bedtime of children is linked to obesity in the United States. Children who go to bed as toddlers before 8 p.m. were found to be much less likely to be obese in their teenage years. 


How are these factors connected? Well, if your child does not get enough sleep, this will affect their hormones and the changes that take place within them. These hormones control both appetite and metabolism. In addition, staying up later leaves more time for snacking, and viewing commercials that encourage your child to snack.

Cognitive Development

Getting a good night’s rest has a positive effect on your child’s brain. Having an early bedtime will improve your child’s mood and mental health. 


Because they are resting the full amount that they should, they experience restorative sleep, which is important for the brain to repair and recover for the next day. Without enough sleep, emotional regulation, is impaired. This is why without enough sleep your child may be overly grumpy, or sad. Sleep deprivation can start a negative cycle that can lead to stress.

Your Child’s Needs

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine it is recommended that babies from 4 to 14 months should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep. Children 1 to 2 years old should get 11 to 14 hours of sleep. 


Children 3 to 5 years old should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Children 6 to 12 years old should get nine to 12 hours of sleep. Finally, teengers, from 13 years old to 18 years old should get around eight to 10 hours of sleep. Toddlers should be in bed around 7:30 p.m., young children by 8 p.m., preeteens by 8:30 p.m., and teenagers between 9 and 10:30 p.m.

Remember, the best part about putting the kids to bed is that you get to go to sleep shortly after! Neighbors Emergency Center supports your start to a healthier lifestyle. Check our Facebook page to stay updated on what Neighbors is doing and new center openings. With our 24-hour emergency rooms throughout the Houston metro area, we can treat you quickly and effectively so you can get back to doing what you love.

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