The time your kids go to bed is just as important as how much sleep they get. Our brains follow the sun and moon's 24-hour day and night cycle. That means your brain is fully aware that it should be resting at night and more active and energized in the morning.
This is called our biological clock, or circadian rhythm. Disturbing the balance of the circadian rhythm can lead to multiple sleeping disorders, even if your child is getting enough sleep.
Here are the general sleep guidelines according to your kid’s age:
Newborn babies don’t have their circadian rhythm set just yet. That’s why they typically sleep for two to four hours in short spurts around the day.
On average, infants up to four weeks old should be getting 15 to 17 hours per day.
Babies should start developing a regular sleeping pattern rather than short spurts. You’ll notice that they begin to sleep more at night rather than in the morning, which means their circadian rhythms slowly start to take shape.
During their first four months, babies should get around 14 to 15 hours of sleep.
During this time, your baby will develop their circadian rhythms. So, you should start setting up a regular bedtime for the baby. Naps are also essential at this period of age.
Ideally, you want your kid to sleep from around 5 p.m to 7 a.m. and have three naps around 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m.
While your baby still needs 13 to 15 hours of sleep daily, you should try moving bedtime to earlier in the evening. Also, try setting your baby down for one or two naps instead of three.
15 Months –3 Years
You can start limiting the number of naps your kid can have at that age. You should also move your kid’s bedtime to an earlier hour to compensate for their lack of naps.
The best bedtime for kids at that age is around 6 p.m. This means they should be getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep.
3–6 Years Old
Typically, 10 to 12 hours per day are what you should be aiming for during this stage. Their bedtime should be between 7 p.m.–8 p.m.
This is the ideal stage for teaching your kids about the importance of going to bed early. Setting up their sleeping patterns around this age is crucial to their growth.
7–12 Years Old
Since kids around this age are going to school and doing all sorts of activities. They’re also experiencing physical growth. So, you need to make sure your kid is getting enough sleep around that age.
Kids at that age need around 10 hours of sleep around that age. So, it’s ideal that they go to bed as early as 8 in the evening.
12–18 Years Old
Most teenagers tend to stay up until late hours. While they still need at least 8 – 9 hours of sleep, they need to have ample nighttime rest to ensure their physical and mental health.
Teenagers should go to bed around 9 to 10 p.m. We understand that getting your teenager to sleep at that time might be challenging. However, it would be much easier if they had been used to a regular sleeping pattern since childhood.