The Times West Virginian

January 28, 2013

Amount of sleep needed depends on many factors

Times West Virginian

— The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on the individual and certain factors, including the age of the child.

Following are some general guidelines:

• 3-6 years old: 10-12 hours per day.

Children at this age typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up around 6 and 8 a.m., just as they did when they were younger.

At 3, most children are still napping, while at 5, most are not. Naps gradually become shorter as well. New sleep problems do not usually develop after 3 years of age.

• 7-12 years old: 10-11 hours per day.

At these ages, with social, school and family activities, bedtimes gradually become later and later, with most 12-year-olds going to bed at about 9 p.m.

There is still a wide range of bedtimes, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., as well as total sleep times, from nine to 12 hours, although the average is only about nine hours.

• 12-18 years old: eight-nine hours per day.

Sleep needs remain just as vital to health and well-being for teenagers as when they were younger.

It turns out that many teenagers actually may need more sleep than in previous years. Now, however, social pressures conspire against getting the proper amount and quality of sleep.

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