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New Sleep Recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine For the First Time Defining How Much Sleep Children Need

A physician with Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital has helped create new recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), defining how much sleep children need.

Matthew Troester, DO, pediatric neurologist, is one of 13 sleep medicine experts from around the world who developed the recommendations. This is the first time AASM has made sleep recommendations for children, and it will change the way doctors advise parents on how much sleep children should get every day.

“The single most frequent question I am asked by parents is, ‘How much sleep does my child need?’” Dr. Troester said. “Historically, we have not really had a single number of hours of sleep to prescribe. Now, we have a consensus statement from a well-rounded group of experts.”

Highlights of the Consensus on sleep recommendations:

  • Infants* 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours.

*  Recommendations for infants younger than 4 months old are not included due to the wide range of normal variation in duration and patterns of sleep, and insufficient evidence for associations with health outcomes.

To create the new recommendations, the panel of experts reviewed, over a period of 10 months, published scientific evidence and articles that address the relationship between sleep duration and health.

Sleeping the recommended number of hours on a regular basis contributes to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life and mental and physical health, according to the AASM. Sleeping less or more than the number of recommended hours can cause health issues like injuries, diabetes, obesity and depression.

The recommendations have been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Sleep Research Society and the American Association of Sleep Technologists. They will be published in the June 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

View the full consensus statement here:

About Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only children’s hospital that is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Phoenix Children's provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children’s provides care across more than 75 pediatric specialties. The Hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the hospital, visit

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