When considering the sleep requirements for children, Dr. Wayne H. Giles, Director of the Division of Adult and Community Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, notes that adequate sleep should not be thought of as a luxury, it is a vital sign of good health. While adults typically require seven to nine hours of sleep each day, the sleep requirements for children vary with age.
Infant Sleep Guidelines
No matter what the age of the child, all of these guidelines are guidelines only, because as Kids Health notes, no magical number pertains to every single child within a particular age group. However, guidelines can provide a general rule of thumb. For infants from birth to the age of 2 months, the sleeping requirement is 12 to 18 hours of sleep each day. For infants from the age of 3 months to 11 months, the daily sleep requirement is 14 to 15 hours.
Toddler and Children Sleep Guidelines
The sleep guidelines for kids who are 1 year old to the age of 3 suggest these children require 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily. Children from the age of 3 to the age of 5 require 11 to 13 hours of sleep each day. As these children grow older, their requirement for sleep lessens. The guidelines suggest children from the age of 5 to the age of 10 require 10 to 11 hours of sleep daily.
Adolescents Sleep Guidelines
Children who are 10 years old need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep daily. This daily sleep requirement remains the same to the age of 17, when the adult guideline of 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep takes over. It should be noted that for children as well as adults, inadequate sleep can affect performance and how a person feels during the day. A number of diseases and conditions can affect how well a person sleeps, so consult a health care provider if there is any suspicion that there is a disease or condition affecting sleeping patterns.