Sleep hygiene: how much sleep do our children actually need?

Sleep hygiene: how much sleep do our children actually need?

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Age-related: How much sleep do children really need?
More and more people are suffering from sleep problems. Those who do not rest sufficiently at night endanger their health. But how much sleep is actually necessary for children. Experts explain that age is the most important factor here. The need for sleep can also be very different individually.

Problems falling asleep or staying asleep
More and more people suffer from chronic lack of sleep. According to experts, around every second adult often has problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Many children and adolescents also suffer from permanent lack of sleep. But every age group needs enough sleep. Among other things, it improves attention, the ability to learn and promotes balance, say the experts from the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ). It is therefore important for both physical and mental health.

Sleep needs depend on age
"However, the need for sleep is age-dependent and can also vary greatly from person to person," said Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Nentwich, who gives a rough orientation on the website based on the current American recommendations, which largely correspond to the German ones. According to this, babies between four months and a year need around twelve to 16 hours of sleep over the course of 24 hours, one to two-year-olds need approximately eleven to 14 hours and three to five-year-olds ten to 13 hours - including morning and afternoon sleep. The duration is somewhat reduced for older people. Schoolchildren between the ages of six and twelve should sleep about nine to twelve hours at night, and youngsters between the ages of 13 and 18 should get eight to ten hours of sleep.

Changes in the daily routine necessary
If parents are unsure whether their child is sleeping enough, a sleep diary can be helpful. In this, three weeks are entered, when the offspring fell asleep, how long they slept, how often they woke up and under what conditions the sleep was interrupted. "Small children can still wake up regularly up to the age of five without a disorder," said Professor Nentwich. The entries in the sleeping diary can help the pediatrician to recognize whether changes in the daily routine can improve the child's sleep quality, whether further measures are necessary or whether parents are unnecessarily worried. "It is often enough to create a pleasant and quiet routine for bedtime and a bedtime ritual," said the expert.

When children don't want to sleep
But there is more that can be done when young children don't want to sleep. So the little ones should be active during the day to be busy. Some experts believe that nighttime sleep disorders can be promoted by napping and therefore not all children need one. The German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) also explained: "Bedtime should be fun and not a punishment." And: "Sports or exciting activities such as television, computer games, exciting reading and the like. prevent a good night's sleep before going to bed. "(ad)

Author and source information

Video: 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips to Get a Better Nights Sleep (May 2022).


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