Curiosities About Children's Sleep

Children's sleep is very important for proper development, both physically and mentally. Here, we'll tell you some interesting facts about it.
Curiosities About Children's Sleep

Last update: 20 March, 2020

Sleep is very important for children. Getting kids to rest and get enough sleep is important for physical and mental development. In this article, we’ll tell you some curiosities about children’s sleep.

Curiosities about children’s sleep

The importance of children’s sleep

Sleep is the time when kids rest. Sleeping well is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for children.

This is because, while sleeping, kids organize and assimilate what they’ve learned during the day. Also, while sleeping, there is a peak in the production of growth hormones. This is why sleeping helps kids develop physically and intellectually. 

However, if kids don’t sleep well over time, it can have side effects. For example, some of them are irritability, behavior problems, and even changes in physical and emotional development. In fact, it can even delay sexual maturation.

Curiosities About Children's Sleep

Sleep phases

There are two sleep stages:

  • REM (rapid eye movement) sleep: In this type of dream, the brain stays active. This is the lightest sleep stage.
  • Non-REM sleep: This is the deepest phase of sleep.

During the night, kids complete about 4 cycles of 90 minutes. In each cycle, it goes through the superficial sleep and deep sleep. As the cycle progresses through the night, the sleep gets deeper.

As children grow and develop sleep routines, it’s normal for the REM sleep to decrease. Therefore, the non-REM phases increase.

Curiosities about children’s sleep: how much should kids sleep?

Not surprisingly, newborn babies don’t need the same amount of sleep as teenagers. As they grow, both the type and the amount of sleep adapt to each child’s needs.

Although each child is different, here we’ll tell you about how many hours they need according to their age. That way, they develop normally and avoid the consequences that we mentioned. These sleep times include nighttime sleep and naps throughout the day.

  • 0-2 months old: 10.5 to 18 hours
  • 2-12 months: 14 to 15 hours
  • 1-3 years old: 12 to 14 hours
  • 3-5 years old: 11 to 13 hours
  • 5-12 years old: 10 to 11 hours

You might be interested in: Sleep Problems During Adolescence

Some events that take place during children’s sleep

While sleeping, some things can take place that you should know how to recognize:

  • Nightmares: These happen in the REM phase, or the light phase. Kids generally remember them the next day. Usually, these disappear over time. However, we recommend avoiding scary things before bed, like scary movies on TV.
Curiosities About Children's Sleep
  • Night terrors and sleepwalking: These take place in the non-REM phase. The next day, kids don’t remember anything that happened. However, if you try to wake your child up to reassure him, it may make the situation worse. Therefore, the most important thing to stop these from happening is making sure your child sleeps enough.
  • Sleep apnea: Apnea is a period of time where kids stop breathing. Most often, it happens in kids with tonsil hypertrophy or who are overweight. These children usually snore, have restless sleep, and may be irritable or restless during the day because they didn’t get enough rest. Therefore, it’s important for the doctor to diagnose it.


Getting enough rest is vital for kids to develop properly, both mentally and physically. It’s also important so they can have a good quality of life and do their daily activities with enough energyTherefore, it’s best to teach children to have a stable bedtime routineIn fact, it will make bedtime a lot easier.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.