Getting good sleep is vitally important at any age, but especially for growing children. Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS) helps families, educators, and healthcare providers teach the importance of sleep to children, and provides tips and resources to help kids get the sleep they need.

Risks of Insufficient Sleep

When children don’t get enough sleep, they’re at increased risk for:
  • obesity
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • mood swings
  • behavioral issues such as aggression, depression, anxiety, inattention,
    and hyperactivity
  • overtiredness
  • poor response inhibition/self-control
  • poor response time and driving accidents in teens
  • alcohol/cigarette/marijuana use in early adulthood
  • poor school performance (as measured by teacher ratings, grades, achievement tests, and intelligence tests), learning capacity, and neurobehavioral function

Recommended Sleep for Children

Infants

Birth-2 months
3-11 months

Toddlers

1-3 years
3-5 years


12-18 hours
14-15 hours


12-14 hours
11-13 hours

Children

5-10 years
10-12 years

Teens

13-17 years


10-11 hours
8.5-9.5 hours


8.5-9.5 hours

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)