Kids Getting Enough Sleep? Expert Recommendations

By Bruce Bacot, MD

“If there’s any uncertainty or concern, especially in school-aged children, it is never a bad idea to consider a detailed sleep evaluation,” said Bruce Bacot, MD, pediatric pulmonologist at Mission Children’s Hospital.

In youngsters, lack of sleep can be mistaken for conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ultimately lack of sleep can take a serious turn, resulting in hypertension and diabetes, even in children.

Snoring, lengthy pauses combined with gasps for air and obesity can indicate sleep apnea. Large adenoids and tonsils can block airways affecting sleep. A family history of narcolepsy and other disorders such as extreme sleepwalking can also be concerning. “Plus, normal sleep can be affected by underlying conditions including depression and anxiety, marked by either sleeping too much or too little,” said Dr. Bacot.

Sleep Recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics

Age Sleep per 24 hours
Infants 4 to 12 months 12 to 16 hours (with naps)
Children age 1 to 2 11 to 14 hours (with naps)
Children age 3 to 5 10 to 13 hours (with naps)
Children age 6 to 12 9 to 12 hours
Teens age 13 to 18 8 to 10 hours

If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, ask your child’s doctor about the pediatric sleep services at Mission Children’s Hospital or for questions, call 828-213-1740. To learn about all of the specialist services at Mission Children’s Hospital, visit missionchildrens.org [1].

Bruce Bacot, MD, is a pediatric pulmonologist at Mission Children’s Hospital.