Children and Sleep: Part 1

babyPeople get cranky when they are tired. Sleep revitalizes and re-energizes you and if you don’t get enough of it your mood suffers, your memory is not as sharp, your reaction time is poor, it’s hard to concentrate and stay focused, and so on and so forth. Babies, children, tweens, teens, and adults all need the appropriate amount of sleep to function effectively. Today your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart, discusses how much sleep children need.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

Babies need the most sleep because they are growing. During sleep, growth hormones are released that encourage tissue growth and muscle development. Energy is also provided to your body and brain and babies need energy to learn and explore during their waking hours. Sleep is important, but how much sleep is enough?

Newborns (1 to 4 weeks old): Newborns have yet to develop their internal biological clock, also referred to as circadian rhythm, so their sleep does not follow a pattern. While they require 15 to 16 hours of sleep per day, they sleep in short burst for 2 to 4 hours at a time.

Four to 16 weeks old: As babies grow, regular sleep patterns begin to emerge. They begin to sleep for periods of 4 to 6 hours and their sleep pattern begins to follow their circadian rhythm, meaning they begin to sleep more in the evenings. At this point they still need a good 15 hours of sleep a day.

Four to 12 months old: Within this period their biological rhythms continue to mature. They stay awake for longer periods of time, and usually require about 3 naps per day. By 6 months of age they should be sleeping through the night, yet they still require 14 to 15 hours of sleep daily.

In part 2 of Children and Sleep, Dr. Stewart will discuss how much sleep toddlers need.

About Dr. Stewart

James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If you think you or a loved one is dealing with a sleep disorder, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment. At Dental sleep Medicine of Michigan, we are committed to forming trusting relationships with our patients so we can work together to achieve sound treatment and a future full of restful nights.