What is a good sleep for kids?
The question of how much sleep kids need changes depending on their age.
These are the guidelines regarding sleep for children, as set out by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:
- Babies (4-12 months) – 12-16 hours, including naps (lucky…)
- Toddlers (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours, including naps
- Pre-schoolers (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours, including naps
- Teenagers (13-18 years) – 8-10 hours
One noticeable shift as kids grow older is that they take fewer naps. By 5 years, they’ve usually faded away. (Naps often come back for teenagers, but for different reasons…)
Fewer naps give us caregivers the chance to utilize routine more when it comes to sleep and kids.
“Our brains love patterns and routines,” Dr. Shelby Harris told us. “When we sleep and wake up is a really important routine to establish and stick to.”
Keeping to the same schedule acts almost like a sleep training program for kids. If you’re struggling with how to make kids sleep quickly, a lack of routine is among the most common causes of this disruption.
Sleep disorders in children can often be attributed to night terrors, which are said to affect around one-third of children. But why do kids have nightmares?
“What we often see is that the stressful or complicated things happening in our kids’ lives can impact their sleep and their dreams,” explains Dr. Harris, “which in turn impacts their imagination and ability to unleash their creative potential.”
As we’ll come onto shortly in our top tips for sleep and kids, providing proper time to wind down before bed helps kids avoid processing difficult or complex emotions just as they fall asleep (or “enter the Dream World” to put it in LEGO DREAMZzz terminology).
And while kids’ nightmares are a common sleep disruptor, the solution to a better night’s sleep isn’t to avoid dreaming. Quite the opposite…
“Dreams are a wonderful way for our brains to process emotions, be creative and even come up with solutions to things we’ve been thinking about during the day,” according to Dr. Harris. “Dreams inspire kids to see different possibilities in the world and believe in their own creative abilities.”
As for the kids themselves, two-thirds of the 23,000 kids we recently interviewed said that they believed dreaming is an important way for them to be creative.
In that same global research project commissioned by the LEGO Group, another two-thirds of kids said they felt dreams were also an important way to help process and deal with negative emotions in their day-to-day life, caused by stresses at home, school, social media and more.
This is precisely why we chose to celebrate the power of dreams with our latest franchise. They’re certainly not something to be avoided.
And, as you’ll see now, they can play a pretty big role in your child getting a great night’s sleep…