Sleep Center

Patient Resources

Patient forms and sleep recommendations for children by age

Learn more about children’s sleep patterns and the amount of sleep they need, according to their age. We’ve also provided links to helpful resources and patient forms for the Sleep Center at Texas Children’s Hospital.

How much sleep does your child need?

Chronic sleep problems in children and teens can seriously affect their school and sports performance, not to mention their daily lives and activities at home. Many young people are eager to stay up late, no matter how early they need to wake up — and they might not realize that they need more sleep.

Do you know how much sleep your child needs each day? The number of hours in a 24-hour period varies based on your child's age. The chart below shows how much sleep your child needs and includes information about sleep patterns by age.

Age Average sleep per 24 hours Sleep patterns
Newborn 16–20 hours 1- to 4-hour sleep periods followed by 1- to 2-hour awake periods, both day and night
Infancy, up to 1 year

14–15 hours at 4 months 

13–14 hours at 6 months

3- to 4-hour sleep periods for the first 3 months 

6- to 8-hour sleep periods at 4–6 months old · 2 naps per day of 2–4 hours each · Day/night differentiation develops between 6 weeks and 3 months

Most infants begin to sleep through the night at 9 months old

Toddlerhood, 1–3 years 12 hours Night sleep plus 1 nap of 1.5–3.5 hours
Preschool, 3–6 years 11–12 hours Fewer and shorter naps, usually ending around age 5
Middle childhood, 6–12 years 10–11 hours

Low levels of daytime sleepiness 

Increasing differences in sleep amounts on school nights vs. non-school nights

Adolescence, 12 years and older Ideally 9 hours but usually 7 hours

Sleep schedule may become irregular. 

Puberty changes the sleep-wake (circadian) cycle, with later bedtimes and earlier wake times.


Sleep Center patient forms and information

Please download and use these forms and information for your child’s appointments at the Sleep Center:

  • If your child is having an appointment with our psychologist for behavioral health concerns, please complete this behavioral health clinic history form.
  • We may ask you to keep track of your child’s sleep patterns using this sleep diary form.
  • We may have your child wear an actigraph, a small device that looks like a wristwatch. An actigraph tracks light levels and your child’s movements to help assess their sleep patterns. See these instructions on how to use the actigraph and the sleep diary.