Sleep Needs for 10-Year-Old Children: Essential Guide for Parents

by Johnny Jacks
Sleep is a crucial aspect of human life, especially for children. Unlike adults, children require more sleep to support their healthy growth. In this article, will guide you through the following information to determine how much sleep is sufficient for a 10-year-old child. This answer will address the concerns of many parents regarding their child’s sleep needs.

The Significance of Sleep for Children

Insufficient sleep can pose challenges for children, particularly at the start of the school year, resulting in fatigue for both children and parents. Inadequate sleep can hinder maximum growth and impede height development.

Vicki Dawson, from the Children’s Sleep Charity, emphasizes the importance of sleep by stating, “Sleep plays a critical role in enabling children to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.”

Adequate sleep duration for children

Sleep duration for infants aged 1 to 4 weeks

Baby sleep time from 1-4 weeks

Baby sleep time from 1-4 weeks

Typically, newborns sleep for approximately 15 to 18 hours per day, but in short intervals of two to four hours each. Since infants haven’t developed an internal circadian clock or a consistent sleep-wake cycle, their sleep patterns are not synchronized with the day and night cycles.

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Sleep duration for infants aged 1 to 4 months: approximately 14-15 hours per day

Sleep time of children from 1 - 4 months old

Sleep time of children from 1 – 4 months old

Around the age of 6 weeks, babies begin to establish more consistent sleep patterns. They may have longer stretches of sleep, lasting around 4 to 6 hours, which often occur more frequently in the evening. During this stage, babies start to distinguish between day and night, reducing confusion in their sleep-wake cycles.

Sleep duration for children aged 4 months to 1 year: approximately 14-15 hours per day

Sleep time of children from 4 months to 1 year old

Sleep time of children from 4 months to 1 year old

Although the ideal sleep duration is up to 15 hours, most babies between 4 months and 11 months of age typically get around 12 hours of sleep. It is important to focus on establishing healthy sleep habits during this stage, as your child becomes more sociable and their sleep patterns resemble those of adults more closely.

Sleep duration for children under 6 months

Children's sleep time from under 6 months

Children’s sleep time from under 6 months

Newborns typically have three naps, which gradually reduce to two by the time they reach 6 months of age. Babies under 6 months are likely to sleep through the night. The mid-morning nap usually begins at around 9 a.m. and lasts for about an hour. Afternoon naps generally start between noon and 2 p.m. and last for one to two hours. Additionally, afternoon naps can begin as late as 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and their duration often varies.

Sleep duration for children aged 1 to 3 years: approximately 12-14 hours per day

As children transition from infancy to 18-21 months of age, they typically start to eliminate their morning and early evening naps, and instead, nap only once per day. Although toddlers require up to 14 hours of sleep per day, they often get around 10 hours of sleep due to their high activity levels.

Sleep duration for children aged 3 to 6 years: approximately 10-12 hours per day

Sleep time of children from 3 to 6 years old

Sleep time of children from 3 to 6 years old

Children in this age range typically have a bedtime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., similar to when they were younger. Additionally, it is beneficial for parents to provide their child with an extra nap in the afternoon to ensure the child’s overall health and well-being.

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2.7 Sleep time for children from 6-12 years old: about 10-11 hours per day

Sleep time of children from 6 to 12 years old

Sleep time of children from 6 to 12 years old

Sleep duration for children aged 6-12 years: approximately 10-11 hours per day

During these ages, with increased social, school, and family activities, bedtime tends to gradually become later, and most 12-year-olds go to bed around 9 p.m.

Sleep duration for children aged 12 years and older: 8-9 hours per day. As children aged 12 and older engage in activities similar to adults, a recommended sleep duration of 8-9 hours is considered appropriate for their rest and well-being.

How much sleep is recommended for a 10-year-old child?

On average, a 10-year-old child requires around 9-10 hours of sleep per night to maintain a healthy balance between rest, academic activities, and social engagements. Sleep plays a crucial role in supporting their growth and development, especially during the prepubescent stage.

Common sleep issues experienced by 10-year-old children

Sleep difficulties in children

Many children face challenges when it comes to falling asleep, often due to feelings of fear or anxiety. They may be afraid of the dark or uncomfortable with being alone. In such cases, parents can provide support and reassurance, offering practical advice to alleviate their concerns and prevent their thoughts from spiraling. Being present and comforting can help create a conducive environment for peaceful sleep.

Children get scared and jump up

Children get scared and jump up

Insufficient sleep

If your child consistently wakes up before the alarm clock, it indicates that they are getting adequate sleep. However, if you find yourself setting multiple alarms and having to rouse your child out of bed each morning, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can manifest in various ways, such as dozing off while sitting in the car, increased irritability, and frequent displays of anger in children. To address this, it is crucial to establish healthier sleep habits for your child.

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Sleep disturbances

Children sleep or wake up

Children sleep or wake up

It is not uncommon for children to experience sleep disruptions such as night terrors or sleep screaming. These episodes may involve tossing and turning in bed, kicking off the blankets, heavy breathing, an elevated heart rate, excessive sweating, or abruptly sitting up in bed. These psychological signs require prompt attention and appropriate intervention to address the underlying causes.

Sleepwalking and nightmares

During the preschool age, children may experience sleepwalking or have nightmares, often associated with their growing fear of the dark. It is important to engage in open conversations with your child about any changes they may be experiencing in their life. Factors such as moving to a new house, changing schools, or parental separation can impact a child’s psychological well-being and contribute to these sleep disturbances.

Sleepwalking in young children (Photo: Internet Collection)

Sleepwalking in young children (Photo: Internet Collection)

Sleepwalking encompasses more than just getting out of bed; it can also involve talking, sitting up in bed, or engaging in repetitive movements such as touching their clothes or rubbing their eyes. During these episodes, your child is unaware of their actions and is unlikely to remember them the following morning. Encouraging your child to use the bathroom before bedtime can help prevent sleepwalking episodes associated with a full bladder.

How to help children sleep better?

To promote better sleep for your child, consider the following tips:

  • Gradually adjust your child’s bedtime by having them go to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier every few days if they struggle to go to bed early.
  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for a 30 to 45-minute difference in bedtime and wake-up times between weeknights and weekends.
  • Power down electronic screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime.
  • Limit the consumption of caffeine and sugary drinks, especially in the latter half of the day.
  • Ensure your child engages in at least an hour of physical activity. Dr. Shah suggests that outdoor play, particularly in the morning, is beneficial as exposure to natural light helps regulate your child’s circadian rhythms.

It’s important to note that the optimal amount of sleep varies for each child and is influenced by factors such as age. Through the information provided in this article from, you now have a clearer understanding of the appropriate sleep duration for a 10-year-old child and how to facilitate better sleep for them.

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