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 Sleep is very important to a child's wellbeing. There's no set amount of sleep that all children of a particular age need, but here's a guide to the approximate hours of sleep they should aim for.

These are hours of sleep based on age, as recommended by the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic:

 

One week old 

daytime: 8 hours

night time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Four weeks old

daytime: 6 to 7 hours     

night time: 8 to 9 hours

Three months old

daytime: 4 to 5 hours      

night time: 10 to 11 hours

Six months

daytime: 3 hours      

night time: 11 hours

Nine months 

daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes    

 night time: 11 hours 

Twelve months 

daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes     

night time: 11 hours 

Two years 

daytime: 1 hour, 30 minutes      

night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

Three years 

daytime: 0 to 45 mins      

night time: 11 hours, 30 mins to 12 hours

Four years 

night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes 

Five years 

night time: 11 hours

Six  & Seven years

night time: 10 hours, 30 - 45 minutes

Eight & nine years

night time: 10 hours

Ten to twelve years

night time: 9 hours, 15 – 30 minutes

How lack of sleep can affect children

Evidence shows that night time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy food during the day to give them energy to stay awake.

The key to how much is enough sleep is whether a child gets up fairly easily in the morning, is alert and happy for most of the day, and is not grumpy.

Younger children who are persistently sleep-deprived seem irritable and overactive, seek constant stimulation and don’t concentrate well. Such symptoms can be mistaken for mild ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).