Depending on the age of children, the amount of sleep each day is different, the time for babies to sleep up to 16 hours/day. Lack of sleep, insufficient sleep will directly affect the health and development of children.
The importance of sleep for children
According to The Guardian, putting children to sleep has a significant impact on children’s behavior. Research conducted on 10,000 children in the UK shows that babies with erratic sleep patterns are more likely to experience behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, difficulty expressing emotions. These symptoms are similar to fatigue after a long flight.
A disordered sleep pattern over a long time causes significant effects on the child by disrupting the circadian rhythm leading to lack of sleep. This will gradually undermine brain development as well as the ability to correct certain behaviors in young children.
Professor Yvonne Kelly, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of London, said: “The early stages of a child’s development have an impact on health throughout his life. Uncontrolled sleep patterns will impair the physical and mental state, adversely affect the child’s healthy development and daily activities. Therefore, erratic bedtime, especially at critical times for development, can have a long-lasting impact on children’s health later. ”
The study also found that children who had irregular bedtime or went to bed after 9 pm often had a poorer social background and were more likely to form bad habits.
Sleeping time for children
Children from 1 to 4 weeks: For babies, they need to sleep about 15 – 18 hours a day, each sleep usually lasts from 2 to 4 hours. However, for premature babies, the sleep duration may be longer and those with colic may sleep less. At this stage, because children do not have their biological clock, sleep often does not follow the cycle of day and night. This is the stage where babies need the most sleep.
Children from 1 to 4 months
Children need to sleep from 14 to 15 hours a day. When children are 6 weeks of age or older, they usually sleep a little less. However, sleeping time is longer and lasts 4-6 hours, usually tends to sleep more in the evening.
Children from 4 months to 1-year-old
At this stage, ideally, children sleep for 15 hours a day, but in reality, children under 11 months of age usually only sleep about 12 hours a day. This is the most important stage for children to set up a healthy sleeping habit because at this time they have begun to integrate more into society and the sleep cycle begins with the same as adults.
Children under 6 months of age
Children under 6 months of age usually sleep about 3 times during the day and reduce it to 2 times when they are 6 months old. In the morning, children usually start sleeping at about 9 o’clock and last till about ten o’clock. In the afternoon, start from about noon to about 2 pm and sleep for about an hour or two. Children can start sleeping from about 3-5 hours in the afternoon, . At 6 months of age (in some children, it may be earlier), their physical development and ability to sleep through the night.
Children from 1-3 years old
Need 12 – 14 hours of sleep every day. By the time your child is 1 year old, the morning sleep will gradually disappear, and usually, there is only a nap in the afternoon. When toddlers ideally need 14 hours of sleep a day, they only sleep about 10 hours. In most children 21 to 36 months, it is still necessary to take a nap and the duration lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. In the evening, children usually start sleeping from 7 – 9 pm and wake up around 6-8 am.
Children 3-6 years old
The baby needs to sleep about 10-12 hours a day. At this stage, children often start sleeping at around 7 – 9 pm and wake up around 6 – 8 am. From 3 years old onwards, most children are still napping, but by the time they are 5 years old, most children no longer nap. The shorter the nap time, the better for children. From the age of 3 on, most children have established their sleep habits.
Children from 6 – 12 years old
At this stage, children have activities at school, society, and family, so in the evening they will usually start sleeping earlier. In the evening, they usually start sleeping at 9 pm and wake up around 7-10 am. At this stage, children need to get enough sleep from 9-12 hours a day. However, if the average child only sleeps about 9 hours a day, it is sufficient.
Children 12 years and older
Need 7-11 hours of sleep every day. At this stage, the children are more active so sleep is important for regaining health. However, with the pressure to study, many children do not get enough sleep each day. Therefore, parents need to pay more attention to their sleep.
According to specialists, sleep is very important for the development of children, especially young children. Children who get enough sleep, good sleep, and deep sleep will develop better. Science has proven that at 11 am every night when children sleep deeply, growth hormones will be released, children grow taller. Conversely, if sleep disturbance at night the child is not only delayed growth, fatigue, or crying but in the long term will affect the health of the child.
How do children have good sleep?
Children should be trained to go to bed early and right at a set time, to give children a reflex to rest, help children sleep easily in any condition.
Minimize external and internal stimuli to the child’s nervous system during sleep. The most important thing is to avoid noise and light because they make sleep is not deep and easy to wake up. Besides, other factors such as letting children be hungry or overeating, unhygienic, clothes that are too tight, lying in the wrong position, dirty and inadequate sleeping places all adversely affect children’s sleep…
Need to avoid psychological trauma such as making children inhibited before going to sleep (such as bullying, scolding, telling scary stories, watching horror movies …). In case the child has diarrhea while sleeping, should be gently cleaned, and let the child sleep again, do not be scolded.
For children to play
Gentle physical activity also contributes to deeper sleep. When children have trouble sleeping, parents can use soft words to make suggestions such as “close your eyes, sleep well, I love you” or: “close your eyes and sleep well” … to help your child to go easily to sleep.
Each child will have a different need for sleep time, length, and depth. Parents need to create conditions for children to sleep fully, should not wake up early. Usually, when enough sleep, children will automatically wake up, without having to call.
In the case of children with sleep disorders (such as several consecutive sleepless nights, sleepwalking), parents should seek medical attention, should not take sleeping pills without consulting your doctor.
Put children to bed when they are awake, should not coax them to sleep before putting them into bed.
Blankets and pillows will help children reduce the feeling of lack of parents.
Slowly cutting off breastfeeding at night, usually by 6 months of age, the baby can get enough energy during the day.
Avoid giving your child food and drinks with caffeine in the evening such as chocolate and soda (Pediatric Secrets, Pediatric Secrets).
Sleep accounts for one-third of every human life, so it speaks to the importance of sleep. And for children, especially children in the age of sleep development, parents should be more concerned about and care about. Getting enough sleep, right sleep will help children get a deep and quality sleep that helps their physical and mental development to the best.