Sleep is one of the first things we look at when we see children. The ability to fall asleep on your own without being held or having someone sitting with you, and to stay asleep all night is a big part of self regulation, attention and focus. Sleep can also affect strength especially with children who have weakness or low tone. It can also affect sensory issues and cognition. Some children are very restless sleepers and may not be getting enough deep sleep to satisfy their body's needs. These are all issues we can help the family and child work with.

  • Approximate Sleep Needs for Infants
  • Sleep Supplements

Approximate sleep needs for Infants & Children
Age Approximate amount of sleep needed
Newborn 16 -20 hours per day
3 weeks 16 - 18 hours per day
6 weeks 15 - 16 hours per day
4 months 9 - 12 hours plus 2 naps (2 -3 hours each)
6 months 11 hours plus 2 naps (2 -3 hours each)
9 months 11 - 12 hours plus 2 naps (1- 2 hours each)
1 year 10 - 11 hours plus 2 naps (1- 2 hours each)
18 months 13 hours plus 1 - 2 naps (1- 2 hours each)
2 years 11 - 12 hours plus one nap (2 hours)
3 years 10 -11 hours plus one nap (2 hours)
3 - 10 years No less than 9 hours per day

Sleep Supplements

Melatonin (slow release)
What it is – a hormone produced by the brain and gut in response to darkness, triggering sleepiness
How it works – boosts the body's natural melatonin levels to help regulate sleep-wake cycles. Often prescribed for people with sleep deprivation from jet lag, who work the night shift, or who are blind. It is recommended for those who can't fall asleep until midnight and then sleep in too late. It helps you fall asleep but will not help you stay asleep unless you use the time release

Research – a 2007 American Academy of Sleep Medicine review found strong evidence that melatonin works for such uses
Recommended dosage – 1.5-3 mg of controlled-release melatonin one hour before bedtime. For children's dosage, look at the bottle for recommendations, would be at least half an adult dose.
Cautions – Do not take if pregnant or nursing. May disrupt ovulation. - device that records hours of sleep

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