During early development the primary activity of the brain is sleep! Sleep directly impacts physical and mental development.

Toddlers 1-3 years old need 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, including at least one nap. Sleep problems can arise at this age because toddlers are constantly seeking independence and time to practice all their new skills. Behavioral problems could be attributable to sleep problems.

Kids 3-6 years old need 10-12 hours of sleep with usually one nap a day or none as they get older. Nightmares can start occurring at this age, making it hard to go to sleep and stay asleep all night. Creating a safe environment with comforting objects will help your child to overcome this stage.

Children 7-12 years old need 10-11 hours of sleep with no nap. Since their day is much more demanding now that they are in school and possibly other activities they don’t have time for a nap but still need a good amount of sleep at night. This age also brings about more interest in electronic devices, the media and caffeine which all do a good job of not allowing adequate sleep. It is most important to keep these things away before bedtime.

Teens 12-18 years old need 8-9 hours per day. Many teenagers need even more sleep than when they were younger but social pressures often don’t help the situation.

Studies have shown that kids get an hour less sleep now than 30 years ago which can cause permanent changes in the structure of the brain and can even be attributed to typical moody teen behavior.

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