Normal values for childrens night-time sleep

04 Apr Normal values for childrens night-time sleep

Ever wondered if your child is sleeping too short or too long at night?  Parents often compare their stories of babies who wake every 40 minutes until they are 4 or 5 years old and others who sleep through for 12 hours from 6 weeks of age.  Teenagers typically sleep all day on the weekends but what is actually considered normal?  How much sleep do we need is often spoken about, but how much sleep do our children typically get?

A recent study published in the journal of sleep has attempted to establish normal values for paediatric night-time sleep, as measured by actigraphy (an easily worn sleep tracking watch-type device).

The investigators performed a review of 1334 articles and further meta-analysis on 79 which were suitable for inclusion.  Sleep duration, latency, and sleep/wake clock times were reported.

Age (years)         Duration (Hrs)                   Sleep onset (hh:mm)     Sleep offset (wakeup) (hh:mm)

3-5                        9.68                                                     21:31                                 7:07

6-8                        8.98                                                     –                                         6:48

9-11                       8.85                                                     22:04                                6:57

12-14                     8.05                                                     23:09                                7:17

15-18                     7.4                                                        23:27                                 7:21


Some data also included sleep and wake times by weekend and weekdays.  Children generally stayed up later on weekends up also slept for a longer duration.  This was the case particularly for the 12-14 and 15-18 year age groups who slept up to 1 hour longer on weekends.

Hopefully this data can help clinicians and parents to understand the normal sleep patterns of healthy children and assist further researchers to design further studies with actigraphy use.


Read the full journal at