Q How many hours of sleep per day do children need at different ages?
— Melanie M.
A A good night’s sleep is as important to youngsters as a hearty breakfast. There is no magical number of hours that they require at varying ages, but there are averages.
Newborns should average eight or nine hours of nighttime sleep and eight hours during the day. Two-year-olds should sleep an average of 11 hours at night and two during the day. Children ages 4 to 9 should sleep 10 hours, on average, each night. Pre-teens and teenagers generally require nine or 10 hours nightly.
If your child gets adequate sleep and still shows symptoms of excessive sleepiness — difficulty waking in the morning or falling asleep at school, for example — talk to your pediatrician.
— Kamal Naqvi, M.D., sleep medicine specialist in the Sleep Disorders Center at Children’s and assistant professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern