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Getting Kids Into Healthy Sleep Habits

Updated March 03, 2019

Audrey Rider

SDSU Extension Early Childhood Field Specialist

Even though my kids have been in school for over 3 weeks now, we are still struggling to establish good sleep routines. I have been researching how much sleep my 9 and 5 year-olds need and how to help them stay rested and ready for school. Here is a great chart from the Center for Disease Control that gives recommended hours/day for all age groups.

Recommended Hours of Sleep

Age Group

Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day


0–3 months

14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)


4–12 months

12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)


1–2 years

11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)


3–5 years

10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

School Age

6–12 years

9–12 hours per 24 hours


13–18 years

8–10 hours per 24 hours


18–60 years

7 or more hours per night


61–64 years

7–9 hours


65 years and older

7–8 hours


It is important to get the recommended number of hours, but good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include: not feeling rested, repeatedly waking up during the night, and symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air can affect the quality of sleep for your child.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

I found these “sleep hygiene” tips from the CDC that get help kids and all family members get a good quality night’s rest.

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals and caffeine before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.